Oscars 2016: A Review of “Spotlight”

spotlight-movie-posterHello again lovely Collective reader, That Geek Online here again with a Best Picture nominee film review; Spotlight. I just got home from seeing this film, I have sat down with my tea, and the Spotlight soundtrack is playing on my headphones. Yes, this is my Oscar’s season ritual, and yes I know I am super weird. Being only the second film (out of eight) that I have seen, I can’t say it is my favorite YET, but it did catch my attention. And not only did it catch my attention, it KEPT my undivided attention for two hours and 7 minutes. Directed by Tom McCarthy, this true story of a team of reporters uncovering a child molestation cover-up scandal will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

Spotlight has six Academy Award nominations this year: Best Picture, Directing, Supporting Sctor (Mark Ruffalo), Supporting Actress (Rachel McAdams), Film Editing, and Writing (original screenplay). As far as acting goes, Mark Ruffalo shines in this film at Michael Rezendes. Both Ruffalo and Michael Keaton put extensive research into their roles, as this is a true story and it’s important that the actor be as similar to their real-life counterpart as possible. For example, Michael Keaton was able to get ahold of video and audio of Walter Robinson and did an impression of him on their first meeting. “How did you know everything about me, we just met?” was Robinson’s response. Mark Ruffalo was just as detail oriented with his character, asking the real Michael Rezendes to say his lines for him during every break. Their dedication to the performance is the driving force of this film and Ruffalo’s competition is tough for supporting actor, but he has a solid shot at the win. Walter Robinson summed it up perfectly when describing Keaton in the film; “It’s like watching yourself in a mirror, yet having no control over the mirror image.”

The attention to detail spans way farther than just on characters, however. The Boston Globe was very helpful with the set and approved the costume design, the production design, actors, and even the script. So watching this true story, you can have faith that this is how it happened, how it looked, and how they acted. There isn’t an over glamourization of the story; it is told to the point and as real as we can get without turning it into a documentary. Another fun attention to detail includes the credits and title cards, which are set to Miller, the font used for Boston Globe headlines and body copy. It’s these little things that made the film spectacular. But I do have to be nitpicky and say that the one of the final exterior shots was very clearly shot in Toronto, and not Boston. As a film surrounding the BOSTON Globe, that should have been caught. Sorry Tom McCarthy, I take all things into consideration in Oscars season.

Will it take home the Best Picture prize? Unless a miracle happens and The Revenant is pulled from the running, absolutely not. But Spotlight holds its own in the lineup as a true story done the right way. The actors wowed me from scene to scene, with Ruffalo stealing the whole show. I really do hope he takes home Best Supporting Actor, but kudos to the Hulk for getting a nomination either way. If you were on the fence, go see Spotlight. It doesn’t have the most pleasant of stories, but it’s a story told beautifully on screen and it should be heard.

Katie is a makeup artist/blogger from the Great White North (AKA, good ol’ Canada). She spends her time creating YouTube videos, writing about anything that crosses her mind, and living vicariously through episodes How I Met Your Mother. You can check out her videos here. Or follow Katie on Twitter @thatgeekonline and at her Blog.