Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

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flyonthewall2983
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Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#1 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:25 pm

Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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jorencain
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#2 Post by jorencain » Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:41 pm

Looks good. I'm saddened by that cover of XTC's "Dear God" though.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Trailers for Upcoming Films

#3 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:54 am

jorencain wrote:Looks good. I'm saddened by that cover of XTC's "Dear God" though.
I'm not liking this trend of just remaking old songs, or remixing them for a trailer (like the one in Joy). It was clever when The Social Network did it, but it's gotten pretty tired. For me, even more than this.

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domino harvey
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#4 Post by domino harvey » Sun Nov 15, 2015 7:59 pm

Nowhere near one of the year's best, though if the Oscar does indeed go to this film, it won't be a shame, as it is quite good in its fashion. Admirably taking the emotional sterility of the best of Soderbergh, Law and Order (Jamey Sheridan's even in this!), or All the President's Men (the obvious touchstone here), the film is narratively lean with few unnecessary shortcuts (though one Christmas music cue will give the naysayers plenty to bellyache about) and the ensemble cast is uniformly excellent-- expect Keaton and Ruffalo to seriously compete against each other for Best Supporting Actor (one of them will win it, mark my words), and don't be surprised to see Tucci sneak in for a Godfather Part II-tying threesome in the category. McCarthy's directing style is representational, but he wisely just gets out of the way of the movie narrative journalism he's working within (comically so if one remembers his role as the crooked reporter in the last season of the Wire). A film I admire and liked, though stronger emotions either way are unlikely now or on reflection.

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Luke M
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#5 Post by Luke M » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:48 pm

I think it's one of the year's best films. Everything worked. The acting, directing, and writing were flawless.

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Joshuadel
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#6 Post by Joshuadel » Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:05 am

Color me pleasantly surprised by this one. I anticipated a largely milquetoast affair, despite (or perhaps because of) the awards season smog looming around the film, but I thought the final product exhibited a quiet confidence in the way many ripped-from-the-headlines films avoid. There's moral outrage and soapboxing, to be certain, but its kept to a minimum and more often than not rooted in the characters. Aside from the on-the-nose music cue Dom already mentioned, I'm not sure I ever felt that forceful, manipulative hand ("these people were bad, and you should feel bad") I so often associate with this type of Good Intentions movie.

I thought the staging was exemplary here, too, especially in the Spotlight office. Much has rightfully been made of the performances, but I haven't read anything about the almost balletic quality to some of the movement in the frame. Characters glide from the background to the foreground and then back again, passing the baton to one another effortlessly, and the overall effect is a great reminder that this isn't a movie about just one actor or one show-stopping performance, but about the Spotlight crew as a cohesive entity.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#7 Post by hearthesilence » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:42 pm

Joshuadel wrote:...the final product exhibited a quiet confidence in the way many ripped-from-the-headlines films avoid. There's moral outrage and soapboxing, to be certain, but its kept to a minimum and more often than not rooted in the characters. Aside from the on-the-nose music cue Dom already mentioned, I'm not sure I ever felt that forceful, manipulative hand ("these people were bad, and you should feel bad") I so often associate with this type of Good Intentions movie.
Pretty much agree. It more or less avoided the typical stumbles most mainstream films make when dealing with 1) crusading social justice stories and 2) stories that are inherently lurid. The approach is pretty straightforward, but it serves the story very well, in a way that is neither bland or too dry. I would definitely put it on par with All the President's Men.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#8 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:11 pm

Will let Glenn Kenny speak for me on this one:
Glenn Kenny via his blog hitting my opinion of [b]Spotlight[/b] on the head much more articulately than I could wrote:This is a compelling story, well-acted. I’m not entirely certain how well-told it is. What’s funny is that should one observe that it’s visually flat, one runs the risk of being accussed of being some kind of shill for “pure cinema” (see above), which means you’re only interested in things like flashy camerawork and show-offy editing, and that’s bad, you see, because the thing about storytelling is that technique is supposed to be invisible. Only problem is, technique is also not invisible when it’s BORING. In terms of pacing, Spotlight is beyond pedestrian. Every scene is a very neat little package of a few minutes, one after the other, each one fixed on a single topic or action that will move the narrative to the next square, until all the squares have been covered. The possibility of surprise, spontaneity, perversity, anything that is not specifically related to The Lesson, has been squeezed out of the work probably before the first scene was lit. Even if Tom McCarthy had wanted to do something along the lines of the seven-minute split-diopter shot of Redford making the Dahlberg call, he couldn’t have, because there’s nothing for it in the script. Again: a compelling story, well-acted. And competently told. But if it hadn’t been so well-acted the competence would seem like mediocrity.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#9 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:49 pm

Shouldn't that be "technique is also not visible when it’s BORING" or "technique is also invisible when it’s BORING"?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#10 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:49 pm

Probably. I didn't write it. \:D/

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knives
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#11 Post by knives » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:53 pm

Nah, it makes sense as written. He seems to be saying you can't hide behind a goal of an invisible technique when there is a clear style going on that just happens to be boring.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#12 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:07 pm

That point in itself makes sense, but I don't think Kenny meant that here. Did you see Spotlight? The style is flat, so in the context of the preceding sentence, he probably mistyped.

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knives
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#13 Post by knives » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:09 pm

But that sentence only makes my reading of the next more certain as his intention.

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swo17
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#14 Post by swo17 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:11 pm

Kenny's wording makes sense to me. Eliminating some words: "Technique is supposed to be invisible, but it's not invisible when it’s BORING."

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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#15 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:15 pm

Glenn Kenny via his blog hitting my opinion of Spotlight on the head much more articulately than I could wrote:
Well said. :P

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mfunk9786
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#16 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:21 pm

I will throw five plaudits the film's way because now I'm thinking about it. I particularly enjoyed:

- Mark Ruffalo's performance - he is a man who seems to have been made for films about investigations/true crime and I am as grateful for him here as I was for his excellent work in Zodiac and Foxcatcher
- The moment when Rachel McAdams knocks on a former priest's door, and he answers her questions to her surprise. Everyone is fantastic in this scene
- John Slattery's performance - with that grim, guilty expression he goes back to a few times that is just heartbreaking and perfectly stoic
- The requisite pre-credits true story title cards are impeccably executed and genuinely startling
- Rachel McAdams' frumpy journalist pants are tremendous

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hearthesilence
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#17 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:24 pm

swo17 wrote:Kenny's wording makes sense to me. Eliminating some words: "Technique is supposed to be invisible, but it's not invisible when it’s BORING."
OH, you mean the fact that it's boring means it's not invisible? i.e. it's so boring you notice the lack of technique?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#18 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:28 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
swo17 wrote:Kenny's wording makes sense to me. Eliminating some words: "Technique is supposed to be invisible, but it's not invisible when it’s BORING."
OH, you mean the fact that it's boring means it's not invisible? i.e. it's so boring you notice the lack of technique?
I think he's just pointing out that vanilla counts as a flavor too


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hearthesilence
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#20 Post by hearthesilence » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:57 pm

Pretty damn egregious for a film about journalism.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#21 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:58 pm

Open Road did a good job of keeping that lawsuit under wraps during awards season.

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domino harvey
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#22 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:18 am

Fundamentally it doesn't really matter for the enjoyment of the film at all, unless you are someone who watches movies for historical accuracy over dramatic impact (which, admittedly, probably was a significant portion of the Oscar voting bloc)

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

#23 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:56 pm

To dominos chagrin I'm sure, this film also owes some debt to The Insider as well, and McCarthy has said as much in interviews. It's my 2nd favorite of Mann's, but when I compare the two now this maybe comes out better because there's less and less of the personal lives of these reporters woven into the plot. Also it's more of an equal ensemble where Mann's film plays as a two-hander comparatively. funk's five points are right-on with my way of how I feel about this now. I was slightly disappointed this won Best Picture over The Revenant, but now I strongly doubt that will be as rewatchable to me now as this is.

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