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Something to watch tonight: Monday 20 November
Spotlight (McCarthy, 2015)
Prime Video subscribers (in New Zealand at least) may have noticed that the range and quality of non-Amazon studios product on the service has deteriorated recently.
I’ve just spent quite a while trawling through the sub-direct-to-video schlock that makes up most of the site, looking for something to recommend and I’m doubtful I would have had the patience if if wasn’t for subscribers like you.
One highlight is the 2015 dual-Oscar winner Spotlight, directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent) from a script by him and Josh Singer.
It’s the true story of the investigative journalism unit at the Boston Globe who took on the entrenched might of the Catholic Church in order to expose the systematic cover-up of child sexual abuse by their priests.
Of course, we know that crimes of that nature were not (and are not) confined to one specific diocese and the film ends with a long and sobering list of global locations where Catholic Church abuse has been confirmed. The presence of my own suburb of Silverstream on that list was a rare occasion where we don’t celebrate being recognised by Hollywood.
The ensemble cast, including Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Stanley Tucci, fires on all cylinders and the film has a self-possessed narrative drive that forces comparison with newspaper classics like All the President’s Men.
Back in January 2016, the podcast Rancho Notorious was still producing episodes for RNZ and we engaged special guest expert reviewer Colin Peacock from RNZ’s Mediawatch programme to help us with Spotlight. It turns out that Colin had actually visited the Boston Globe on one of his overseas research trips and met some of the Spotlight team.
Spotlight made my ‘Best of 2016’ list for RNZ and the Academy agreed with me, giving it the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay awards for that year.
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Where to find Spotlight
Aotearoa: Streaming on Prime Video (and Netflix)
Australia: Streaming on Netflix
USA: Streaming on Max and DirectTV
UK: Streaming on Netflix and NowTV (a Sky product)