Based on the true story of the special investigative reporting team of the Boston Globe that, in 2002, exposed the massive systemic cover up by the Roman Catholic Church of its pedophile epidemic among priests.
This story works like one of those old journalist procedural movies like All the President’s Men. While it’s a well told story, it’s basically a bunch of reporters running around asking questions to people and trying to get documents. I’m not saying it’s boring. It isn’t. It’s quite interesting. But certainly not worthy of a “best film” Oscar nomination. This one may be there for it’s political agenda against the Roman Catholic Church.
And I’m not saying that the Roman Church doesn’t deserve the condemnation. It clearly does. But when it comes to Oscars, a movie is more than an agenda. It’s the acting, the visual, the action, the immersive experience of the senses. This is something you see with The Revenant, but not with Spotlight.
Spotlight is good, but not great. Its agenda is important, but its artistic movie merits are not.
That said, this is truly one of those issues of corruption that is so disturbing, you cannot deny that it undermines the authority and credibility of the offending institution.
The entire journey was the discovery that this was not a case of a few isolated pedophile priests, but an institution-wide epidemic of hundreds of priests and thousands of victims. And the systemic corruption involved covering up the crimes, and relocating the priests to other parishes to “make it go away” instead of prosecuting the crimes. But evil does not go away. It follows the perpetrators.
And then the famous Boston Cardinal Bernard Law was implicated in the cover-up. But of course, we all know full well that he would not be the only one in authority who knew. This is indeed a systemic problem that ends up shaking the faith of even the Catholics involved in the investigation.
The justification by most of those involved in the cover up is exemplified at a big party hosted by the Boston Archdiocese, where one of the lawyers tries to discourage a reporter from digging deeper, “This is the church. These are good people. They’ve done a lot of good for this city. Enjoy the party.” Classic Ends justifies the Means.
The Roman Catholic Church is depicted as operating like the Mafia, an institution that is just a little too big and powerful, whose tentacles are everywhere. At one point, one of the reporters blurts out, “We gotta show them that no one can get away with this. Not a priest, not a cardinal, not a freaking Pope!”
How true. No man is above the law. Great stuff. In principle.
Now let’s see the movie on the corruption of the Hillary Clinton machine that harassed and covered up Bill Clinton’s sexual abuse and rape victims. And all the liberal reporters who conspired to protect them both because of political agenda. And how they are repeating it again 18 years later. Or is that a religious institution that’s just a little too big and powerful, whose tentacles are everywhere? Evidently, those same media hounds consider their Popes to be above the law.
And let’s see the movie about how the media itself has covered up the massive amount of rapes by Islamic immigrants and refugees all over Europe, the massive cover up of British city governments of the sexual slave trade of white girls by Muslims in Rotherham and other cities. Or is that a religious institution that’s just a little too big and powerful, whose tentacles are everywhere?
But to discover at the end that there were over 200 known locations around the world with this kind of scandal going on in the Church, and then Cardinal Law was reassigned to one of the highest ranking Roman Catholic churches in Rome, reveals just how far up this criminal evil goes in the leadership of the Roman religion.
Unrecompensed crime is injustice.
Unrepentant is unforgiven.