Spotlight, The Best Picture of the Year, according to Oscar voters, is now available on Blu-ray/Digital HD.
Spotlight is one of those films that’s pure Oscar bait and was always meant to garner a nomination. It features a stellar cast of well liked veterans including one of my favorites Michael Keaton (Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson) who is having a career renaissance, Mark Ruffalo (Mike Rezendes), Liev Schreiber (Marty Baron) and someone we just don’t see enough of: Rachel McAdams (Sacha Pfeiffer). It’s also a movie that showcases Journalists being good deed doers and its anti-Catholic. I don’t say this as some rabid religious fanatic, the movie is what it is and how can it not be considering its subject matter?
Back in 2003 there were very few newspapers that had teams of people dedicated to Investigative Journalism. It’s an art form that requires patience, commitment from management and proper resources, as Keaton’s Robinson says at one point, “It takes us an entire year to properly investigate a story.” When new editor Marty comes on board he wants to shake things up. Everyone is scared they are going to lose their jobs, but Marty actually challenges the Spotlight team by simply asking why hasn’t someone looked into a Priest who was accused of sexually molesting a child?
It seems many people in Boston knew what was going on but no one wanted to take on the Church, it took the outsider in the form of new editor Marty Baron to ask the simple question; Why was the story of the arrest of a Priest buried in the metro section? Marty challenges the Spotlight team to dig deeper. It’s always amazing when a major story is breaks, how everyone claims they knew about it already.
Actor turned Director Tom McCarthy clearly understands how to work with this large, talented ensemble cast and let his actors do their thing without getting in the way. This intimate portrait is fairly workman like with no directorial flourishes that scream “look at me.” Everyone gives nice performances, but I didn’t find any nuance or layers to characters and found Josh Singer, Tom McCarthy script to be pretty plain and repetitive.
The movie isn’t served by it’s impenetrable 2:10 minute runtime. At best this should have been a 90-minute film. For such an intense story the movie ultimately fails because it’s so caught up in the process of news gathering that it stops being a compelling movie.
Final Grade C-
The Blu-ray of course includes a pristine audio/video transfer and gets extra props for not being letter-boxed. It includes a digital copy for both iTunes and Ultraviolet and BD Live Functionality which delivers new trailers on Blu-ray via the internet. Other than that it really skimps on the extras. There are only 3 featurettes included each of which are less than 6 minutes. Oh, let’s be honest, 2 of them are 3 minutes and there’s one 6-minute feature that shows the real Spotlight team talking about the story. It was interesting seeing the real life Marty Baron, he really was as low key and unexcitable as Schreiber portrayed.
Spotlight is not a film worth getting on Blu-ray, it’s a movie you’ll most likely watch one time and there are no compelling extras included. At best this film is worth a rental.
- Movie – C-
- Audio/Video – B
- Extras – D
Final Overall Grade C-