TIFF: ‘Spotlight’ cast fetes their characters

15 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Spotlight’ movie review: A thrilling dive into masterful journalism.

Hold the presses. After showing at the Venice and Telluride film festivals, director Tom McCarthy’s drama chronicling a Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation into clergy sex abuse won a great reception at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday.Rachel McAdams says playing a gritty tough cop in True Detective and putting herself in the shoes of an investigative reporter aren’t that much different.

TORONTO — Veteran journalists know it well: That jolt of adrenaline right at the moment when you’ve got a hot story locked down, something important you’ve been working on for a good long while and no one else has — and all that’s left to do is write and publish.Hungary blocked its main migrant crossing point from Serbia on Monday, hours ahead of imposing tough new laws aimed at halting the massive stream of Middle East refugees headed into the country on their way to Germany and other western European countries. However, instead of the A-list stars, it was the appearance of the real-life journalists that garnered a standing ovation from the premiere crowd at the Princess of Wales Theatre. “They’re our heroes,” McCarthy said in a post-screening Q&A session. “They don’t do the kind of work where they get up on stages and walk press lines and take a lot of pictures.

Actors Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James, and John Slattery play past and present Boston Globe reporters/editors Michael Rezendes, Walter Robinson, Marty Baron, Sacha Pfeiffer, Matt Carroll, and Ben Bradlee Jr. in the movie, which tells the story of the Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Dozens of police, supported by mounted police and soldiers, stood guard on a railway track that asylum seekers had been using to cross into the European Union. Based on the Boston Globe’s 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning expose about the Catholic Church’s decades-long cover-up of pedophile priests in the heavily Irish-Catholic city, Spotlight is a well-argued clarion call for serious journalism as an essential check on our institutions of power.

And it also made it clear what a shame it is that newspapers — especially local papers — don’t have the resources to commit the people, the time to long-term investigative journalism. … ‘Support your local newspaper’ is one of the takeaways from this whole thing.” Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Europe’s most outspoken foe against allowing thousands of refugees from war-torn Syria and elsewhere into the EU, spoke at a police cadet swearing-in ceremony in Budapest. Carroll admitted that they were “teary-eyed” about taking the stage with their Hollywood counterparts. “ It’s so great to see this after so many years. They were different people, but they cared about similar things.” The Globe’s journalistic exposé won the publication a Pulitzer, but the impact was far greater.

Pfeiffer commended the cast for learning every detail about the Globe team (she added that McAdams studied her so well that the actress even walked behind her to replicate her gait). He said the new laws against the migrants call for prison terms and the punishment for human traffickers “will be so severe that it will be really deserved.” “Hungary is a country with a 1,000-year-old Christian culture,” Orban noted. “We Hungarians don’t want the global-sized movement of people to change Hungary.

John Slattery plays a well-connected top editor, and Liev Schreiber is the standoffish new boss — a Jew from Miami who doesn’t follow baseball — who prods his staff to dig deeper into a story that had conveniently been given short shrift at the paper over the years. We feel so much for the victims of abuse, and we’re so happy that it’s their story that’s been brought to the screen.” Plus, she said, they went to great lengths for accuracy. “Mark captured this cough-laugh thing that Mike Rezendes does. Baron, who spoke about the importance of investigative journalism, also joked that Schreiber had the challenge of portraying a character who “doesn’t emote.” Ruffalo told the reporters that their investigative work “changed the world,” and thanked the group for sharing their lives. This is not what we worked for and this is not why we battled through world wars, communism, the change of regime after communism and an economic crisis. McAdams, who has previously played a young Washington investigative reporter in 2009’s State of Play alongside Russell Crowe, said she took time to get to know Pfeiffer personally to prepare for the role. “She was so generous with her time,” she said. “You never felt like any question was a dumb question.

He added, “Journalism is the only real last — well, it’s a big part of what democracy is.” Another note on “Spotlight”: Matt Damon revealed over the weekend that he was in line at one point to star in the film. Nor does it go in for any cheap sensationalism about a sensitive topic—as the reporters dig deeper and uncover a staggering number of abuse cases, all the while running into brick walls built by the church and its loyalists, there’s no prurience, or unnecessary moralizing. My husband says that Brian Darcy James plays a better Matt Carroll than Matt Carroll. “Rachel wanted to know everything: what I ate, how I grew up, what I thought. Spotlight is straightforward, and humble, a rolled-sleeve picture whose ethics are firmly in the right place, but isn’t showy about asserting its own correctness.

There’s little stylization or embellishment to be found, really, but the film still has plenty of mood, crackling with tension and, in the end, finding a kind of shaggy righteousness to revel in. We don’t want chaos.” Hungary rolled a rail container car lined from top to bottom with razor wire onto the entry point near Roszke, entirely blocking the passageway. McCarthy’s script, created from whole cloth with co-screenwriter Josh Singer, deftly balances the six key Globe reporters and editors, giving each plenty to do.

Watching trustworthy people do their jobs well probably shouldn’t feel as revolutionary, as rare and surprising, as it does in Spotlight, but it does. Budapest said anyone entering illegally will face criminal charges, but it sent refugees seeking asylum to a nearby police supervised border crossing.

Even Schreiber nailed boss Marty Baron, though his assignment may have been hardest of all. “He had an impossibly difficult subject,” deadpanned Baron. “How do you portray someone who does not emote? Somehow he did that.” Spotlight deglamorizes reporting but also captures what that these “ink-stained wretches” did and how difficult it truly was, according to Robinson.

Each of the ensemble cast plays off one another like a killer jazz band, making the story the star; awards campaigners will have one hell of a time deciding who’s a lead and who’s supporting. From big names like Keaton, McAdams, Stanley Tucci, and Billy Crudup, to a whole host of performers I’m assuming are Boston locals, every actor works in an easy, lived-in tone, making for a film that’s as naturalistic and conversational as it is wholly compelling. No movie since The Godfather: Part II has produced three acting nominations in the same category, but Spotlight has at least four actors worthy of consideration for Best Supporting Actor, depending on how they decide to slot them. But there’s no denying Mark Ruffalo is the standout as Michael Rezendes, the eccentric, hot-blooded Globe newshound whose persistence, oddball people skills and sprint-to-the-story hustle was the driving force behind this world-rattling scoop. Ruffalo, as the most passionate reporter on Keaton’s team, has a bit more emotional stuff to play than the other bigger roles, and so is perhaps the standout when talking about awards consideration.

Last Thursday, Robinson said he received a call from a California woman in California trying to interest him in a story about a cult. “Finally I said, ‘Why are you calling me in Boston?’ And she said, ‘Well, I saw the trailer for Spotlight today and I thought you would be the best person to investigate.’ ” “We’re just actors but this is your life. But I was equally impressed with Keaton’s fatherly knowingness, and calm, forthright Liev Schreiber, playing the newly appointed editor of the Globe.

And as much accolades as we get here for doing this, it’s really you who have given the great gift to so many people and given a voice to people who didn’t have a voice before at all.” Germany could take in as many as a million refugees this year, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel predicted in a letter Monday to members of his Social Democratic Party. Baron kicks the story into gear when he arrives from Miami in July 2001 and insists that the Spotlight team drop what it’s doing to pull on the thread of allegations against Boston Archdiocese of Massachusetts priest John J.

Though the film ends with some startling, deeply troubling text that details just how terrifyingly widespread the priest sex abuse problem is, it’s hard not to leave the theater feeling uplifted. Schreiber is intensely disciplined in this role, bringing a gruff, understated gravitas to Baron, whose outsider status — new to Boston, Jewish, no lover of baseball — is arguably the reason that countless thousands of children won’t have to face the harrowing sexual abuse that thousands before them endured for decades. Spotlight is just so satisfying—a deftly, wisely built movie about people doing work on that same level of ultra-competence—that I think it will prove hard to resist for Academy voters. And though most moviegoers wouldn’t know the current Washington Post editor (he left the Globe on the last day of 2012) from Adam, his character is unforgettable from the moment he quietly strolls into the newsroom to take charge. Austrian police say they rescued 42 people believed to be migrants stowed in a refrigerated flower truck on a highway near the German border on Sunday.

The ministers are at odds over the proposal by the EU’s executive arm to impose mandatory distribution quotas for asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia who have overwhelmed three front-line states in particular: Greece, Hungary and Italy. Arriving at the Brussels talks, Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said the march of migrants through Europe in recent days shows quotas don’t work. “We think that quotas are not the solution,” Kalinak said, “…the first step, how to stop the flow, and how to help the people who are still in camps in Turkey and Jordan and Lebanon.” Germany says it may receive one million migrants this year – 200,000 more than previously estimated. In a previously unannounced move, British Prime Minister David Cameron met Monday in Lebanon with some of the Syrian refugees who will re-settle in Britain.

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