Kristen McGee, Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal Takes “Spotlight” In New Film, Steelers Lounge

he movie, which follows the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team as its reporters investigate the story, is an indictment of the church in that city but, crucially, it doesn’t stop there. It’s a democratic operation in which every participant matters, right down to the clerical workers who wheel carts of documents from one Globe department to another. The Globe published its first story on January 6, 2002, with the headline “Church Allowed Abuse by Priest for Years”. The staff at Spotlight was let by Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton) and included Mike Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams), and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). Thisis simply a great story exceedingly well told, through characters whose fingers are perpetually stained with ink. But maybe this film required more than a sly nod. Reporters frequently don’t come off well in the movies these days. Just like Alan Pakula’s seminal 1976 thriller chronicling the investigation that brought down the Nixon presidency, Spotlight is about exactly what traditional journalism can and should be: finding the truth, even if it threatens entrenched power structures. The story might never have come to light if not for the influence of Marty Baron, who joined the Boston Globe as editor-in-chief in July 2001. But instead of cuts, Baron inspired a year’s worth of reporting that uncovered systemic sexual abuse in the Boston clergy and led the Spotlight team to the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. This is how these guys connect the dots. Of the many remarkable things about the new film Spotlight, the most remarkable is that this moving, engrossing, occasionally thrilling movie is mostly about a bunch of people-a team of investigative journalists at the Boston Globe known as “Spotlight”- going to work and doing their jobs. On this, we can all agree, and Baron will be in town next week to elaborate on the Spotlight story and others. It had a story to tell and its story was about the victims and the church’a role in its cover-up of this abuse. “With their cold cups of coffee, rolled-up shirtsleeves, and bustling deadline chaos, they’re glamorously unglamorous settings where overworked, underpaid reporters get to speak truth to power”. Everything from the newsroom, to the people working there, the research and investigation process, the lifestyle, long nights, sources, quotes, etc., felt extremely authentic. “[In the film] we couldn’t spend a lot of time commenting on the state of the industry that is journalism today as opposed to [the early 2000s] and how tragic that is”, he said. Schreiber says his sons are old enough to understand that what their parents do for work is a little bit different from most people. The film often reminds us about the (possibly forgotten) value and importance of honest investigative reporting/journalism. Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) is the latter, and through his interactions with the Columbo-esque Rezendes, we learn that the problem isn’t just bad eggs and the Church hiding them in the back of the henhouse. Reportedly, Vatican Radio gave strong praise to the movie as well, describing it as “honest” and “compelling”. The script for the film was listed on the 2013 “Black List”, an annual survey of “most liked” motion picture screenplays not yet produced. In unearthing the story and facing his own failings, Robinson employs a lifetime of experience and tries mightily to exploit a few choice connections like his buddy Jim Sullivan, a lawyer for the archdiocese rendered achingly credible by Jamey Sheridan. This film was shown at the Venice worldwide Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, and the Toronto global Film Festival. Since Spotlight-which opens Friday, November 13-takes place with one foot in the analog world and one in the digital, this makes for an intriguing time capsule of our not-so-distant past that still seems ancient. Rated 3 out of 5 stars. It of course touches base on themes concerning religion and sexual predators. Running time is 2 hours and 8 minutes. He is a film, TV, and sports enthusiast, and when he is not reviewing movies, Hayden works in film production. Don’t like what he has to say.

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