In Review: Dark Waters

There’s an unexpected combination of spiritual material to auteur in Dark Waters, the true life retelling of Ohio lawyer Robert Bilott and his long-lived case against the DuPont corporation. Both a courtroom drama and corporate justice character study in the vein of a much more somber Erin Brockovich, Todd Haynes’ film details the discovery of DuPont’s knowing poisoning of local water supplies and the uphill climb for retribution. Mark Ruffalo returns to the everyman shoes that suit him best as Bilott, brought onto the case from a vague family connection and uncovering implications beyond the local community.

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In Review!: “Spotlight”

With a resume of modest and economical dramas reflecting on everyday folk, director Thomas McCarthy has taken an unassuming approach to charismatic ensembles like his previous films Win Win and The Station Agent. His newest effort, Spotlight, continues that economy but with a sharper urgency that demands your attention and earns your rage. Expect more than your average true story of journalistic heroism.

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In 2002, The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team (the oldest investigative journalism crew in the country) uncovered cases of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests within the Boston community and the infrastructure within the church that allowed the abuse to continue. Their findings revealed systemic implications for the global Catholic church and earned them a Pulitzer Prize, not to mention creating a national dialogue that allowed further silenced victims to come forward. Spotlight’s members, as depicted in the film, all connect personally with the case in various ways, but their work is fueled by the silent cycle of abuse perpetuated by those in and outside the church willfully turning a blind eye.

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