Taking Center Stage
There isn’t a good or bad time to release a film like Spotlight. Journalism shapes the issues discussed at a societal level, and, under the massively ambiguous term “the media,” seems to be largely blamed for many nationwide issues. Tom McCarthy’s film covers The Boston Globe’s investigative reporting of the Massachusetts Catholic Church sex abuse scandal, remaining as objective about its source material as a journalist ideally should. A film like Spotlight could and should (and in this case, does) highlight the utmost importance journalism (and more importantly, the handling of journalism) wields. A film like this is important.
In the early 2000s, Boston’s Globes investigative team Spotlight began digging for leads in a child sexual abuse case from a Catholic church. The team (here portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Brian d’Arcy James) uncovered evidence for almost 90 child abuse charges in Boston alone. They had to dig deep for that number – any prior documentation was swept under the rug by legal or journalistic powers to prevent any knowledge of the scandal.