Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
We went into the awards season 99.9% certain that Leonardo DiCaprio would win Best Actor for The Revenant, and he took home many statues, including Oscar Gold. It also seemed certain that director Alejandro G. Iñárritu would win. He did--second year in a row. Best picture? Pretty sure it would be Revenant.
But as my son and I settled in to watch the Academy Awards on Sunday night, I said, Ya know, if the director of The Revenant wins, I think Spotlight will win Best Picture, or the other way around.
Call it a hunch, a guess, call me the Cumaean Sybil. Don't breathe too hard around me. You might blow away my nose.
Spotlight won Best Picture (2015, Rated R, Available for Purchase on DVD and is on some streaming services; available on DVD from Netflix on March 22; DirecTV Cinema gave us a free movie, so that's how we watched it).
My son and I felt captivated by the film immediately. It's brilliant! we cried, in unison. We also cried in unison when he was born.
Spotlight is based on the true story of a team of reporters who undertake in-depth journalism projects for The Boston Globe. In the movie, the three major reporters--played by Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams--spend months during 2001 uncovering the Catholic church's complicity in hiding the identities of priests who molest children, and the shocking numbers of the abused and abusers.
The three reporters are backed by journalists who specialize in areas such as data analysis and a new managing editor, played by the always excellent Liev Schrieber. The director and crew seem to have done everything they could to make us feel we are there. This dialog-driven movie emphasizes the thrill of the hunt. (Note: As a reporter, I was never happy when something bad happened so I could report on it, but when I needed to investigate, I found it exciting.)
Spotlight also won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Josh Singer and director Tom McCarthy.
Ruffalo and McAdams earned, what seemed to us, undeserved nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. I must say, though, that Ruffalo is one of my favorite actors. So is Benicio del Toro, who might have been nominated for the riveting but very violent Sicario. I'm not sure who I would have put in McAdams' place.
Good journalism is spellbinding for the reporters and editors who do the work, and informative for its readers. I despair as I see print journalism disappear, only to be replaced by bad television reporting, The Huffington Post and its many grammatical errors and stories lifted from other sources, and "news" Web sites and bloggers who report the latest rumor.
I worked at the newspaper that broke Three Mile Island. I didn't work there at the time, but it thrills me to know that our small-town paper informed the Associated Press about the imminent danger in Pennsylvania. One of my most exciting moments came when the AP picked up one of my articles.
Thus and so, Spotlight earns The Janie Junebug and Son of Junebug Seal of Highest Approval. We also thought the awards show was great. Chris Rock couldn't have been much better. It was hilarious when he asked "typical" movie-goers if they'd heard of the nominated movies. Nah. What's Spotlight?
Now you have no excuse to say you don't know what Spotlight is. If you haven't seen it, I urge you to do so. It's not a movie for children. If you can get teens of about fifteen and older excited by the journalistic process, please watch the movie with them and explain what's going on. If you don't know what's going on, Google it, or ask me.
Infinities of love,
Hi Janie - I saw it on Thursday ... and Spotlight is outstanding ... I'd be happy to see it again - it was wonderful.ReplyDelete
I want to see it again, too, Hilary. I hope to find a DVD with bonus features, especially commentary on the making of the movie.Delete
My Rare One and I enjoyed Spotlight too. This world needs much more investigative journalism but it's hard to say where the money and time to invest in that will come, given how modern corporate media is structured these days.ReplyDelete
I don't know if true investigative journalism will ever return--at least not in my lifetime. Fortunately, I will be here many more years.Delete
I didn't see Spotlight but definitely will now! Sounds like a great movie. I was happy Leo won Best Actor for Revenant. That was a superb movie. Thanks for the review on Spotlight.ReplyDelete
And how cool that you worked for the small-town paper that broke Three Mile Island! That's very cool!
Hope you are well...
Michele at Angels Bark
I am well, thank you. I look forward to seeing The Revenant, though it seems rather scary.Delete
I didn't watch the awards. But I did go online afterwards to see who won. I hadn't seen hardly any of the nominated movies so it is difficult for me to guess being that tragically uninformed. I heard they were both great movies. Can hardly wait till I can get them on Netflix. :)ReplyDelete
I think you'll love Spotlight. I'm cautiously optimistic about Revenant. We loved the Oscars. Great show. One joke fell flat. No big deal. Chris Rock was great.Delete
I loved Man In The Wilderness back in the day so I am pretty sure I will love the remake, Revenant. :)Delete
Man in the Wilderness? I have to IMBd that. I think it sounds like A Man Called Horse, which starred Richard Harris. Of course, I might have dozens of movies confused with dozens of other movies.Delete
Richard Harris stars in Man In The Wilderness, too--LOL! It's a film about this same guy who was left for dead with no supplies and winter coming after a bear attack. I am curious how similar or dissimilar they are because the whole story has become almost a legend and legends end up with versions--LOL!Delete
I remember a second movie, but didn't know that was the title.Delete
I haven't seen it yet but plan to. My favorite part of the Oscars was Lady Aga. She blew me away.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed Lady Aga, too, but Lady Gaga was even better.Delete
I haven't seen either of these movies, (OR "The Martian") but I hope to see them all.ReplyDelete
Willy Dunne Wooters and I loved The Martian.Delete
I watched this film just before the oscars and thought it was quite good. I agree as to why those. Two were nominated. What got me the most was in the credits showcasing all the States and then the world where these problems were taking place. I enjoyed the Oscars very much. I t really was quite a good show.ReplyDelete
My son and I loved the show. Chris Rock is excellent, yet I heard that the number of viewers was even lower than last year's. I wonder if it's because the majority of the people have not heard of the most-lauded movies.Delete