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'Spotlight' Wins Oscar For Best Picture; Pope Challenged By Producer From Stage

Spotlight tonight took the big prize at the 88th Academy Awards with a Best Picture victory. Nominated for a total of six Oscars tonight it also was the big winner Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards. The Open Road-distributed and Tom McCarthy-directed drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team’s exposes of rampant sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover-ups was chosen as one of the top 10 films of 2015 by AFI. McCarthy lost on Best Director on Sunday to The Revenant’s Alejandro G. Inarritu.

“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar onstage, surrounded by Spotlight‘s cast and creatives. “Pope Francis, it is time to protect the children and restore the faith.”

Before tonight’s ceremony, McCarthy, actor Mark Ruffalo and co-writer Josh Singer were among protesters outside L.A.’s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. “Standing with the survivors of priest sexual abuse,” Ruffalo tweeted on Sunday in solidarity with the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests demanding the public release of the names of pedophile members of the clergy.

Spotlight‘s only other Oscar win was for the Original Screeenplay by Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, making it the first film since 1952’s The Greatest Show On Earth to win the Best Picture category with only one other award.

In total, Spotlight was nominated this year for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing. The other films competing with Spotlight this year for Oscars’ biggest prize were The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room and The Revenant.

  1. It doesn’t add up. The Rev wins best cinematography, actor & director. How was it lacking to lose best film? Spotlight’s win was clearly political.

    1. I think I agree with that. It wasn’t a bad movie, but it wasn’t particularly ambitious in its writing. I didn’t think The Revenant was a miracle of any kind, but far more ambitious and more successful in that ambition. Overall though I thought it was a weaker year for American cinema. Oh well.

    2. Or there were a lot of people who voted for Brisge of Spies and Brooklyn first and Spotlight second. This was an example of preferential voting

    3. Because it wasn’t the best film? It had breathtaking cinematography and the actor and director’s campaigns were all based on how much they suffered to make the film, not the film actually being that good.

    4. yes, just like 12 years a slave. The rightful winner should have been Mad Max which won 6 oscars. It was not necessary to give inarritu a 4th oscar for the revenant. But the oscars feel that best picture needs to be of importance.

  2. Spotlight’s “Best Picture+1” is so rare it hasn’t been seen since The Greatest Show on Earth.

    Prior to that it was fairly common in the earliest years of the Academy (Wings, All Quiet on the Western Front, You Can’t Take It With You, and Rebecca).

      1. Thank you for reminding us about true Hollywood history that goes back to an age most readers don’t even know existed. There is a legacy to be revered and remembered.

  3. I thought “Spotlight” was the best film of the year but never dreamed it would win best picture. This reminds me of the upset by “Chariots of Fire” many years ago. “The Revenant” was an impressive film for many reasons but not the best of the year.

    1. This matter is far from under control. Predator clergy are still being sheltered, children are still in danger and the church is still trying to fight against the prosecution of priests. One example is the New York archdiocese trying to shorten the statute of limitations on the kinds of abuse detailed in this film. Not only should the pope be challenged, but we all must be challenged to do a better job of protecting the most vulnerable amongst us. Whether it be protecting our children from sexual abuse by priests or other authority figures, or protecting impoverished communities being exposed to poisoned drinking water and other environmental threats. These kinds of abuse, neglect and malfeasance can only happen when we let them.

    2. I was thinking the same, he made that challenge as if the church has sat around and done nothing about it. All three of the last popes have been working to resolve the issue. It can’t undo what was already done, but it can get up and grow from it and put measures in place to prevent this mess from ever happening again. And it has, over this time since all of that. Much stricter policies have been laid out and put into action for church leaders, lay and clergy a like to follow. Much stricter than any other denomination.

        1. This film is not about hating Catholicism, but rather about exposing the injustices committed against good Catholics by predators hiding in the garments of a great religion. What’s really hateful is your poorly and thinly veiled anti-semitism.

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