This was just wow. When I first saw the trailer, I was already very intrigued to how this would do. The cast and premise caught my attention. I’m still very novice when it comes to directors so I didn’t really look up or know who Tom McCarthy is but now I know (also plan to check out his other films, though I will be skipping on the Sandler one).
I enjoyed everything from this film. The characters, the pacing, the narrative, the editing and the sound all were exceptional.
The characters. Man, Mark did it again. He once again prove his range potential. He was very enjoyable and engaging to watch to the point where I was looking forward to every scene he had. Keaton just does his thing, though I can’t really gauge his acting ‘ability’ since all I’ve seen of his has been Birdman and that was astounding but I don’t have an opinion on his range. He did what he had and it was good. Rachel here was also enjoyable because I find all three leads have great personalities and great chemistry. Though I’m not sure how accurately portrayed they are of their real life counterpart, I appreciate what they did here. Keaton, Mark and Rachel all represented different types of personalities in the workplace and it was a good watch.
Brian d’Arcy James could’ve had more screen-time and development cause he was on the team itself but what they did with him was good enough. Liev and Slattery had even less screen-time but they did what they needed to do which was to help flesh out the world of Spotlight and the workplace. These three had much less screen-time compare to the three above but they still did a great job. Stanley Tucci has the most screen-time outside of team Spotlight and he was also enjoyable to watch. His intensity and slight awkwardness made for a compelling character.
This success boils down to chemistry and screenplay. The screenplay could have easily been bog down by background stories of each character to flesh them out and that would have deterred the film overall. The focus is always there and its spotlight and the piece. They mentioned background here and there and I really enjoyed it. For example, Mark’s girlfriend is mentioned but never seen or Rachel’s family is in and out very quickly. We have glimpses of their lives but we are always on the case. With such great characters, the world is built and its authentic and believable.
The pacing, cinematography and editing, all lend itself to keep the plot moving. There was never a dull moment. Things just kept going and going and I felt that it reflected the urgency of the deadlines and the need to hash out a story as soon as possible.
So if you couldn’t tell, I really enjoyed this film. With it being based on a true events made it even more intense. I definitely recommend this to everyone to watch. I suspect those who are Catholic and/or know more about these atrocities will take more/less away from this film. It is part of a dark past but one that should be shown to the world.
So yeah, Spotlight is a movie with great cast, direction and premise. What else do you want?