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LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - Critic-favorite "Spotlight" has been named best picture of the year by three major film critics associations.
The film, which showcases the Boston Globe's investigation into the 2002 priest sex abuse scandal, received the top prize from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), the Boston Film Critics Society (BSFC) and the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO).
In addition to Best Picture, the film's screenwriters — Josh Singer and director Tom McCarthy — were also acknowledged by all three critics associations with the award for best screenplay.
"Spotlight" stars Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams and Brian d'Arcy James as members of Spotlight, the Boston Globe investigative unit responsible for publishing several hundred articles unearthing the ongoing cover-up of sexual abuse by Massachusetts Catholic priests. The exposés thrust the state scandal into the limelight, resulting in a crisis within the Church, as more and more victims throughout the country, and eventually across the globe, came forward with allegations of abuse.
The investigation earned the Spotlight team the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
The film has been met with much critical acclaim, with review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes' critical consensus stating that it "gracefully handles the lurid details of its fact-based story while resisting the temptation to lionize its heroes, resulting in a drama that honors the audience as well as its real-life subjects."
"When all is said and done, however, we cannot blame 'Spotlight' for drudging up this scandal," said Catholic pro-life activist Dr. Monica Miller. "Clergy abuse happened. The Boston Globe, among other outlets, exposed it. That is the film's subject. It does no good for us to blame a well-made movie when what the Church needs is simply to get Her act together as God intends."
"Spotlight confronts us in a new way with the disastrous consequences of patterns of denial and deception," wrote Steven D. Greydanus of Decent Films. "For Catholic viewers, clerical and lay, it can be seen as a dramatic witness to the profound need to expect and insist on a culture of openness, transparency and accountability. The Church is called to be the light of the world. We must not fear to turn a spotlight on ourselves."