In Tom McCarthy’s Oscar contender Spotlight, there’s a scene where one of the film’s crusading journalists, played by Brian D’Arcy James, discovers that a house in his neighborhood is being used by the Catholic Church to house disgraced priests accused of molesting children. It’s a chilling moment, but also an odd one: In a film that’s otherwise quite generous with its characterizations and meticulous in its narrative, it’s weird to have an element like that turn up, like some kind of grisly, real-world haunted house. Watching the otherwise excellent Spotlight, I found myself wondering about what exactly goes on in a sad, condemned place like that.
The Coen Brothers’ Star-Packed Hail, Caesar! Feels Overdeliberate
This milieu begs for a loose, scattershot tone, one in which every line isn’t archly parodic.By David Edelstein