Tuesday, 22 March 2016


One of my favourite films and one I've seen many times is Station Agent (2003). It involves a quiet withdrawn unmarried man with dwarfism who has a deep love of anything connected to railways he even works in a model train hobby shop. When his boss passes he discovers that he has been bequeathed an abandoned railway station along with some stock. This wonderfully evocative movie was Tom McCarthy’s debut film and one that won him a number of awards. Four years after this initial film McCarthy won more plaudits for his second feature The Visitor (2007) which starred the great Richard Jenkins, who plays a lonely middle aged man who finds himself having to face up to life's problems when he meets a Syrian refugee he finds living in his New York flat. After making two such wonderful films McCarthy next two feature films Win Win (2011) and The Cobbler (2014) did not quite get the same acclaim. But all has changed with Spotlight (2015).
The Spotlight Team. 
This biographical drama deservedly won McCarthy an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and another for Best Picture. Similar to Truth (2015) it deals with investigative journalism but this time it's the Roman Catholic Church and its involvement in the covering up of widespread and systemic child sex abuse that comes under the microscope. Based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight Team that earned The Boston Globe a Pulitzer Prize for ‘courageous, comprehensive coverage in its disclosures of sexual abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Church’ in 2003.

An engrossing fact based story that keeps you on the edge of your seat for its full 128 minute running time and again like All the President’s Men (1976) and Truth it highlights the power of journalism where in its true form investigates facts, verifies its sources normally to stop unlawful practices and all for the benefit of the wider community.  I cannot recommend this film highly enough and its another of these splendid movies where the action is in the dialogue all acted out by a stellar cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdam, Leiv Schreiber and Stanley Tucci each of whom give a career best performance.

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