The countdown continues!
Spotlight is a tight, blunt, un-cinematic and un-fussy movie that’s as to the point the moment in journalism it explores. The movie is almost documentary-like as it dramatizes the true story of a handful of Boston Globe reporters who exposed a wide-reaching sex-abuse-and-cover-up scandal in the Roman Catholic Church. The movie never gives into the sensational subject matter or exploits it for melodrama; instead it remains a grounded character drivenstory that is predicated on the nitty-gritty details and painstaking work that went into exposing such a major story. Spotlight is one of the best movies of the year, offering the kind of measured craft and adult-minded drama that we once had been granted at a studio level, more akin to a film like All The President’s Men.
Look! Up in the sky! It’s Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (21 Grams, Biutiful, Babel) spectacular Birdman, screaming through the cultural stratosphere like a mighty force. Birdman or, (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — to give the film its full title — is a subversive, funny and touching intertextual psychological-odyssey that flies in the face of cinematic convention. Since his 2000 debut, Amores Perros, Iñárritu is an explorer of the human condition. Each of his films has experimented with an array of different structures and techniques, from the handheld aesthetic of 21 Grams, to Babel‘s multi-stranded narrative framework. Birdman is unquestionably his most innovative and uncompromising work. Without compromising the views of a prospective viewer, the best I can offer is my takeaway about what this whole endeavor may or may not be about, something to keep in mind if you’re watching the film for the 1st time or again: that in the end, every work of art is, like every person, two stories — the one that they tell and the one that they are.