2015 Movie Reviews: Spotlight

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So this is the movie that everyone says will win Best Picture. Whether or not that ends up happening is yet to be determined, but I guess the real question posed by this review is “Does it deserve to win?” The answer? I feel that this could win Best Picture, and it wouldn’t be a bad winner, it would look fine, but there are other movies that could be more worthy.

In my personal opinion, I believe that movies (actually, storytelling in general) should be more about emotions and not facts. And Spotlight is at its best when it’s focusing on the emotional moments between the characters. Early scenes where it was just people spouting facts at one another were rather hard to get engaged in, but the film got better as it went on. Some of my favorite moments involve the victims being interviewed, and it really got emotional.

I was invested in this movie. I wanted to know what was going on and I did genuinely want to see the heroes win. And a lot of what makes a good movie is how invested you are in the story. And while some scenes were more interesting than others, there was more good than bad to be found here, leading to a very engaging experience.

Obviously, the main focus of this movie is the ensemble. And it is truly an ensemble as no one actor can truly be called lead here. But I don’t think everyone on this movie gives an A-list performance. I think Mark Ruffalo is the MVP of the film and everyone else is good, but not amazing. I find it wired that for the longest time Michael Keaton was the frontrunner to win Supporting Actor. Not that he did a bad job or anything, but after his performance in Birdman last year, this is a bit of a step back for him.

Honestly, this wouldn’t be a bad choice for Best Picture. It is engaging to the point where you want to se justice served. It is well acted and well written. It’s not one of the best movie of the year, but it’s a movie that just enough people might like for it to end up victorious on Oscar night.

****1/2

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