‘Spotlight’ Shines in Venice Film Festival

Tom McCarthy‘s Spotlight made a highlight in Venice today, bringing happiness in director’s squad. The film is said to be superbly controlled drama.

Spotlight is about The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative unit in the United States, and their coverage of the Massachusetts Catholic sex abuse scandal, for which The Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Brian d’Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, and Billy Crudup.

McCarthy and stars Mark Ruffalo and Stanley Tucci said they hoped Pope Francis would get to see the film that traces the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation into a sex abuse and corruption scandal which rocked a city, and one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions.

Ruffalo expressed they were all “hoping that the pope and the Vatican use this very, very sober and judicious story to begin to heal the wounds that the church also received.”Spotlight is “a perfect opportunity” for the Vatican “to begin to right these wrongs, not just for the victims and their destroyed lives, but for all the people who’ve lost a way to order a chaotic world for themselves.”

As the film is made around journalism and the Catholic Church but Catholic officials might be disinclined to take up arms against “Spotlight” as vocally as they did with “Philomena” (2013), which invited legitimate criticism with its cartoonishly villainous Irish nuns and other dramatic liberties.

McCarthy’s picture is all the more authoritative for its comparative restraint: Perhaps realizing the number of different ways they could have tackled a narrative of this density, the director and his co-writer, Josh Singer (“The Fifth Estate”), have shrewdly limited themselves to the journalists’ perspective, ensuring that everything we learn about the scandal comes to us strictly through the Globe’s eyes and ears.

McCarthy and Singer completed the script in June 2013. It was listed on the 2013 Black List of unproduced screenplays. Filming began on September 24, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts and continued in October in Hamilton, Ontario. Filming took place at Fenway Park, the Boston Globe offices in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the Boston Public Library, and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

The film is scheduled to be released on November 6, 2015, by Open Road Films.