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Cinema Signal: Terrific writing, directing and acting makes this a must-see. MOBILE version |
. "Spotlight"

It would be difficult, and nigh impossible, to find a better newspaper drama since "All the President's Men" of 1976. This expose' of sexual abuse rampant in the Catholic diocese is of thriller proportions thanks, essentially, to three elements: unremitting tension in the writing, carried out in the directing, and an ensemble of actors whose passionate tenacity can be seen and felt.

For me, it's that immersion into the drama as it unfolds and expands with clues and disclosures that's so impressive about this film. Standouts actors include Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d'Arcy and Stanley Tucci.

Together, this becomes an unflagging collective of determination to right a terrible wrong, to uncover crime where it should never be.

It's all based on the investigative work of the Boston Globe which earned the paper a Pulitzer Prize. And, I have to say, whether "Spotlight" takes the Best Picture Oscar (for which it is nominated) or not, this rendering of the tremor that shook the untouchable church is a must see accomplishment as a sociological echo of a dark chapter in religious treachery.

If there were an award for Best Ensemble Cast, this is the one for 2015.

This is also a rare and memorable representation of what journalism can and should be at its best, through the agency of filmmaking.

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                                                                              ~~  Jules Brenner  


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Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Brian d'Arcy. Putting the pieces together.

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