(l-r) Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery and Brian d'Arcy James star in Spotlight.
Two superb movies—both about journalism—surfaced at the Toronto International Film Festival this week, and they're already being hailed as among the year's best. Both films remind us good journalism comes from hard work and shouldn't be confused with the pulp non-fiction pushed out by so many media outlets lately.
Spotlight tells the true story of the team of reporters at The Boston Globe who uncovered the Boston Catholic Archdiocese's decades-long cover-up of child molestation by priests. The film from writer/director Tom McCarthy (Up, The Station Agent) includes one of the best ensemble casts of the year: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo. Spotlight The film opens nationwide on Friday, Nov. 6.
Deep into Spotlight, we hear a children's choir singing "Silent Night" during a church Christmas pageant as we watch the Globe's "Spotlight" team put together the final pieces of a story, which ultimately rocks the Catholic Church to its foundations. As we hear the children sing "All is calm/ all is bright," we know nothing could be further from the truth.
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Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes and Robert Redford as Dan Rather in Truth.
Truth also happens to be the name of the second film about journalism, this time starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, respectively, as 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes and—get ready for this—Dan Rather. It's an unflinching look at how CBS dug a bit too deep into President George W. Bush's service record with the National Guard. Was the story accurate? Yes. Was every element of the story true? CBS executives would have us believe the reporting had major flaws, which cost Mapes and Rather their jobs and tainted their reputations.
Blanchett is superb as always, and this is some of Redford's best work in a long time. CBS, however, comes out looking a little too rosy in Truth, and there's no doubt sparks will fly when it opens nationwide Friday, Oct. 16.