Spotlight (2015)


Ok firstly, I feel like I need to explain why I haven’t been blogging that much about films and performances – simply put, no mood. I assure you, it is not that I have lost interest in films (Never!!) but if you know me, my interest in things tend to come in…phases. And for the past few weeks, I have been well…gaming. Nothing new there. Anyway, my gaming phase is going to be over (I can feel it) so I am probably going to resume blogging about films.

I am so glad that I finally got around to watching this year’s best picture winner Spotlight. To be honest, I actually wasn’t in the mood for movies, because I wanted to watch Olive Kitteridge on tv but my family suddenly went “hey let’s watch a movie together!” and I was like “Urgh, ok”. The reason why I have been putting off Spotlight was simply because I just didn’t feel compelled to watch it, despite its best picture status.

I am beginning to realise that 2015 was a better year for films then most people would give credit for. After that drought in 2014, 2015 felt particularly refreshing. I thought Mad Max: Fury Road was pretty damn amazing, Room was haunting, The Martian was fun, Bridge of Spies was decent and…haven’t seen the rest. But I really enjoyed what I have seen so far, and in my opinion, The Hateful Eight and Carol would have been worthy additions to this already strong lineup too.

What I first noticed about Spotlight was the way it got me hooked right from the start. It is arguably the most low-key and least flashy out of all the nominated films that I have seen so far, and yet I daresay it captured my attention the most. No doubt, it is an emotional story but it never feels exploitative of the events it is based on. To me, the screenplay was pitch-perfect, nailing the necessary realism behind the story while still having a strong emotional undercurrent that is never in your face. The direction is so brilliant that I thought Tom McCarthy was robbed of the Oscar, but then again, I haven’t seen The Revenant so I can’t comment. Taut is the first word that comes in mind when describing this film. Watching the systemic and seamless way the spotlight team ceaselessly covered the story is almost like watching a highly efficient machine at work, and it was pure fascination.

Nailing the realism of Spotlight would be its strong cast of actors. That being said, I will be frank when I say that I don’t quite comprehend the two acting nominations. I love Rachel Mcadams, and I am glad she is finally an Oscar nominee (FYI, in my world, she should have been nominated for Mean Girls, and yes, I am serious), but the way the acting works in Spotlight is such that everybody is complementing each other to form the final result. Yes, her performance is really good and I like the subtle emotional touches she added in several scenes, but my point is, if she is nominated, why isn’t Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci and everyone else nominated? I know it sounds bizarre but everyone here adds a little something special to their roles, which is why I think the SAG award for outstanding performance by a cast is one of the most deserved in years.

And yes, like everyone else, I thought Mark Ruffalo did stick out in a wrong way. Not as bad as people say, just a bit too much for my tastes.It is quite weird to see him chewing scenery and being so mannered when everyone’s acting is so realistic. I feel like his explosive speech really disrupted the realistic tone of the movie for a while, and to be honest, I kinda cringed a little. Which is strange, cause I thought Keaton and Schreiber did more with how little they had.

Still, out of all the best picture winners of this decade so far, I consider Spotlight the most worthy and deserving winner. Maybe its because I have been craving for a low-key, realistic drama, but I really enjoyed how the film told its story without trying to manipulate its audience. It is hard for me to articulate my feelings in word – not a flashy film, but so damn brilliant anyway. 5/5.



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