Spotlight (15)

Directed by Tom McCarthy
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 28th January 2016

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

I have, since my childhood, been an avid newspaper reader - but not red top trash - so invariably always been drawn to films revolving around print newsrooms, the obvious example being All the President's Men.

Because you know the outcome of the Boston Globe Spotlight team investigation of widespread sexual abuse by priests of children in the city, where the Catholic Church is a very influential force in many ways, there is, to some degree, a lack of dynamics and tension as the film unfolds.

But nevertheless, it is an absorbing watch, directed in exemplary style by Tom McCarthy. Using unfussy camera work Spotlight is not about the visuals but the actual story itself.

Set fifteen or so years ago it provides a certain nostalgia of what newsrooms used to be like before the advent of highly sophisticated computer systems.

The scandal should have been revealed by the Globe five years before it actually did but individual journalists did not pick up on it. You have to ask why was it initially suppressed?

It begs the question how often has a potentially groundbreaking story been, so to speak, swept under the carpet, and guilty individuals or groups have got away scot-free with their misdemeanours. Quite often I would say.

A very unHollywood movie!

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