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Variety’s cover story on ‘Spotlight’

‘Spotlight’: The Story Behind Tom McCarthy’s ‘Love Letter to Investigative Journalism’

Variety – Oct. 27, 2015

By James Rainey


Print circulation has plummeted nearly 50%. Ad revenue has plunged to less than half its one-time high. Two in five newsroom employees have been handed pink slips, forcing many to seek work in precincts outside the Fourth Estate.

That doesn’t exactly make a newspaper an obvious backdrop for a movie — or a ripe setting for praiseworthy endeavors. Yet “Spotlight” places journalists and the printed word shamelessly front and center, celebrating a quiet kind of heroism. No wonder preview and festival audiences are chock-full of ink-stained wretches swelling with pride and affirmation.

But it’s not mere nostalgia that has put director Tom McCarthy’s fifth film prominently in the conversation for best picture and multiple other potential honors this awards season. What’s making “Spotlight” the “it” movie of the moment, even prior to its Nov. 6 theatrical debut, is that it has pre-release audiences talking not just about journalism and freedom of the press, but about the Catholic Church, Pope Francis’ stance on the plague of sexual abuse by priests and even about the bounds of faith. Read more.