At First Glance: “Spotlight”

Film’s that are inspired by true events come out every year. Some receive more attention than others, even if it’s believed they deserved more. Then there are those that are riding high waves and don’t seem like that’s going to change any time soon. Is that too much too soon? Is it just getting overhyped for no reason? Your guess is as good as mine.

The upcoming Open Road Films film “Spotlight”, is going to be one intense, gripping, and engaging film.

This drama Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”, “Avenger: Age of Ultron”), Michael Keaton (“Minions”, “Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”), Rachel McAdams (upcoming “Every Thing Will Be Fine”, “Southpaw”), Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”, “BoJack Horseman”), John Slattery (“Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”, “Mad Men”), and Stanley Tucci (upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2”, “A Little Chaos”).

The film is directed by Tom McCarthy (“The Cobbler”, “Win Win”) and written by McCarthy (“The Cobbler”, “Million Dollar Arm”) and Josh Singer (“The Fifth Estate”, “Fringe”).

The film is expected to open in theaters on Nov. 6, 2015. It has so far been screened at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Venice International Film Festival, and the Telluride Film Festival.
Wow. Just wow. I’d seen the trailer back when it came out two months ago, but hadn’t gotten around to writing about it. I’m glad I am now, but I’m surprised that this trailer still had such an impact. I’m once again excited for this movie! I also think that I’m excited for the same reason I was the first time.

The cast is, well, the cast. Honestly I don’t have to say much. I expect a lot of good things from them in this film, even if each of them doesn’t have a solid or stellar track record when it comes to some of the roles they take. This one, and I’m jumping the gun a bit, just screams Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, or at least a nomination. Each character just has me hooked. This is primarily, as there’s so many and background’s weren’t explored, because of the determination once each one of them becomes involved in the putting together of this story. I just found the work life and approach displayed to be captivating. It’ll certainly keep me glued.

The real life events that inspired this film are of course the next big thing here. It seems to be becoming a trend of late. There was “Kill the Messenger” last year, and the upcoming film “Truth”. Each are about the field of journalism, and events surrounding different journalists in their quest to do their jobs and bring the truth forward for the public. While these two instances are a bit more controversial, they’re still just as compelling when factoring in all the events detailed in the film and as a film itself. For me, this isn’t just a compelling story to be told on film, as this is about a major event from over 10 years ago, but it’s because I wasn’t really paying attention when it all unfolded. I’d heard something, but not enough it seems. This has me wanting to know more, including all the behind the scenes drama that when on as this team of journalists uncovered the truth and reported on it.

The last thing, which will ultimately be what seals it as a great film, hopefully, is the way it looks constructed. When I say constructed, I mean on every level. Every bit that allows for this film to come together. The entire film looks good and will probably be just as gripping, if not more so than “Truth”. The one thing I’m really excited to see simply come alive so naturally is the newsroom. The team’s work area, maybe a small section of a floor, made me want to crawl through and join in, or at least watch them work.

While I do think that it will be interesting to see the events that brought to light a major issue, seemingly largely ignored or covered up, I also have hope that good conversations can come up not just about the film. Even while film’s like “Truth” and “Kill the Messenger”, among others, deal with some more negative aspects, or just unfavorable, bits of journalism and the journalists that strive for the truth, this one shows what can happen when people work hard for justice and truth. This film will show what can happen when people are held accountable. So, while this film is going to remind us of events from many years ago and also be entertaining, it’s also going to be a good way to discuss journalism in a positive way. I guess there’s some hope still in the field of journalism, or just a reminder of what it could be once again.


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