Spotlight Is a Period Piece, and That Makes Me Feel Old

I love Spotlight so much that I saw it twice: once alone and again over Thanksgiving holiday with my sister and a pair of brothers who used to live in Boston, where the film takes place. Spotlight is about the Globe reporters who exposed dozens of pedophile priests and their protectors. Their work implicated nearly 90 priests in child abuse cases, as well as the Archbishop of Boston for covering up their crimes. The Globe won the Pulitzer that year.

There’s so much to say, but I’ll stick with how dated the film felt. It’s filled with bygone relics, like touch screen-less cell phones and a five-person investigative reporting team that pours all of its energy and resources into a single story. In one scene, a priest marvels at the World Wide Web.

My sister and I agree with the critics: Spotlight is a magnificent film about the power of classic shoe-leather reporting, and it’s a film about atrocities wrought by priests and collective denial (“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”), but Spotlight is also a period piece set in the early aughts. I think my generation’s progeny will watch this film to get a feel for 2002.

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