The cast and director of Spotlight at the film's Toronto premiere

The cast and director of Spotlight at the film's Toronto premiere


Sometimes it's the simplest and subtlest of films which pack the biggest punch.

You won't find any showy special effects or attention-grabbing filming techniques in Tom McCarthy's now Oscar winning film Spotlight. And equally, none of the actors in the film have had to lose three stone or transform themselves with facial prosthetics. But since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, critics have been raving about the Oscar Best Picture winner. 

Starring a brilliant ensemble cast of Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Micheal Keaton (on a bit of a roll after Birdman) and Stanley Tucci, the film explores the true story of a team of investigative journalists working at the Boston Globe in 2001, who uncovered an explosive child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. 

The Spotlight cast (from left) Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slatterly and Brian d'Arcy James

With meticulous and sensitive direction from Tom McCarthy, the tension in the film builds slowly and quietly as the team of journalists - headed up by Walter Robinson (Michael Keaton) - start chipping away at a scandal which becomes gradually bigger and more shocking with every fresh discovery. 

There is no weak link in the film's seasoned cast, though equally none of the performances are gunning-for-an-Oscar-flashy either. Rightly, it's the story itself which takes centre stage, a story which makes for uncomfortable viewing, and which will threw up a lot of fresh debate about the workings of the Catholic Church when it hit US cinemas in November and the UK in January. 

Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo

The specialist team of Boston Globe journalists - which was called Spotlight, hence the film's name - who uncovered the scandal went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for their work.