Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Film & Water Podcast Episode 17: Spotlight


Episode 17: SPOTLIGHT

Host Rob Kelly welcomes film critic Zaki Hasan (MOVIEFILM PODCAST) to discuss the new film SPOTLIGHT, starring Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton, about the Boston Globe's 2001 investigation of child abuse within the Catholic Church.

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1 comment:

  1. Like you guys, All the President's Men came immediately to mind. A well constructed journalistic thriller that somehow makes phone calls and paperwork exciting and fills you with apprehension. And that makes you wonder why more media can't be like this, while also pointing out where the media does fail, systemically.

    A lot of verisimilitude, which I appreciated, not just in the unglamorous look at journalism, but in the performances too. Ruffalo's demeanor is kind of anti-filmic, and thus riveting. McAdams has been in a lot of arch and/or crappy roles lately, but here I rediscover the actress that so charmed me in Slings & Arrows. Schreiber is likewise understated and unlike his usual movie persona.

    I did notice the AOL sign, and didn't realize the predatory connection. The bell it rang with me is that newspapers were already losing ground to the web, foreshadowing their decline to today's low circulation. In that moment, Spotlight acted as a celebration of what print media COULD do at its best and signaled its relevance.

    And one final note. I expect cards at the end of "true story" movies that give us some factual epilogue, but I do not, as a rule, like them. In this case, the very final cards were a real gut punch that literally brought the whole story home. Not the numbers, or the injustices that followed, something else, and I don't want to spoil it. The film is quite intellectual, a detective story, and despite the horrors we're asked to imagine, did not make me fer-klempted until that final card.

    Oh, and bizarrely, we came out of the theater making action figure jokes just like you did here. Heavy subject matter tends to bring out the gallows humor in us.