I lived in Boston from 1999 to 2006, then in the Greater Boston area until 2012. So I remember when this was happening. I remember the names and the headlines. Though it's funny, you know, how quickly you forget when it doesn't directly impact you. Watching Spotlight and hearing those names again only served to show me how I'd shelved it all in the back of my head once the headlines stopped.
My parents were Catholic, but it meant something different where Dad came from; the Catholics were the upper class rather than the lower class. That's the French thing versus my mother's Scottish roots. But it didn't matter much to me because I was only Catholic until I was about seven or eight, and then my mother became a born again Christian and, well, church got a lot louder for one thing.
I have my own personal issues with religious institutions, Catholic and otherwise, but that's neither here nor there except to reinforce the idea that I was not directly invested in or impacted by the goings on in Boston at the time the story broke. But I worked with a lot of people who were.
As for Spotlight, it is a remarkable movie. Not for the subject matter, despite its heft and importance, but because they were able to keep something like investigative journalism visually interesting. Not an easy thing to do. The score was at times intrusive and over the top, but the acting was good and everything was paced well. Good editing, too. It moved right along.
My only concern might be that people who weren't already familiar with the actual events might get lost in all the names being tossed around. There are a lot of them.
I don't cry easily, but tears pricked me a bit by the end of the movie. It was amazingly well done. We need more movies like this and fewer of these tentpole flash-bang Marvel circuses. Variety recently ran a piece about how the movie industry is coming down to just a few studios and their big pictures (sorry, can't find the link), and I really hope we can put a stop to that. A broader base of a wider variety of films would be much more stable than a narrow base of one kind of movie, right? It's better for everyone if we keep making a lot of different things rather than an assembly line of more of the same.
Ah, well, that's a whole other argument. In short, I enjoyed Spotlight, and not just because I was there when it happened. Kudos to it and its entire cast and crew.