From the tone of the last two blogs in this series, you might be expecting me to point out another one of Hollywood’s flaws. While the movie industry has a long way to go, it is doing some things right and I think those deserve recognition too.
One positive aspect of the film industry is that you will never see hesitation to portray honest, hard-hitting stories. Granted, the story may have an angle, but someone or something is getting exposed and nobody is afraid to be the one the expose them.
“Spotlight” (2015) directed by Tom McCarthy and starring Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, and Michael Keaton, among other very relevant film stars, is one such film. It tells the story of how the Boston Globe exposed the child molestation scandal in the local Catholic Archdiocese, and its impact on the entirety of the Catholic Church.
Liev Schreiber, who plays Boston Globe editor Marty Baron, tells Variety that,“Quality investigative journalism is receding from our culture.” He said he believes it is important to put it on the big screen, and I agree. However, I don’t see it fading from our culture, especially among films.
Take “All the President’s Men”(1976) for example. The movie is a true story about two Washington Post reporters who work to uncover the Watergate scandal and connect it to former President Richard Nixon. Investigative journalism has been alive for a long time, and the film industry is not hesitating to adapt these true stories to convey the power of the press.
Also consider the film “Good Night, and Good Luck”(2005), which is a true-life story of broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow as he works to take down Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the era of McCarthyism. This is yet another, more recent example of a film adaptation portraying a hard-hitting journalist seeking to use their power to expose wrong-doing.
Variety quoted journalist Walter Robinson, played by Michael Keaton in “Spotlight,” saying, “To me, this film shows that there are so many injustices in the world that nobody knows about. And young journalists out there can find them and expose them and cause change for the better.”
I completely, wholeheartedly agree (and not just because I am a current journalism student). Hollywood is definitely deserving of praise for their consistent exposure of investigative journalism and the exposure of injustices in society
So many directors, producers and screenwriters are not afraid to create art that is controversial and raw. It’s truly a task that requires great bravery—to release work that may not always receive the utmost praise from everyone. Now, if these same brave creators can translate that passion into exposure of the injustices within Hollywood itself, a real movement has the potential to arise.