Entertainment » Movies


by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Feb 23, 2016

Come Oscar night, directory Tom McCarthy's film "Spotlight," based on the story of how the Boston Globe's team of investigative reporters unravelled and then broke the story of how pedophile priests had been preying on children for decades, only to be sheltered and shuttled around to unsuspecting communities by officials of the Roman Catholic church, could very well walk away with six statuettes, including top honors for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

This disturbing and essential film is the story of what happens when authority -- be is secular or religious -- is left unchallenged, and what the cost is when human institutions, even those run in the name of the divine, fail to hold themselves accountable. The Blu-ray release touches upon those themes, among others, in a slight slate of special features that includes the featurette "Uncovering the Truth: A Spotlight Team Roundtable." This, as it turns out, is less a conversation than a string of soundbites from the real journalists portrayed in the film -- Marty Baron, Sacha Pfeiffer, Walter "Robby" Robinson, Mike Rezendes, Mat Carroll -- interspersed with clips from the movie. The featurette underscores just how closely the actors approximated the real people, though it fails to address the issues it raises below a surface level.

There are only two other extras. In "Spotlight: A Look Inside," the cast offer their thoughts on the crimes and the cover-up of the Church for two and a half minutes.

In "The State of Journalism," the cast are back again to offer their thoughts on the decline of print and investigative journalism for just over three minutes.

It's a disappointing crop of extras, but we can hope that when the Criterion Collection edition appears -- or some other scholarly release, aimed at cinephiles and other interested parties -- the proper care will have been put into curating a decent selection of related materials. Meantime, don't let the dearth of special features stop you. For believers and non-believers alike, "Spotlight" is the most important film in years.

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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