Why ‘Spotlight’ Gained the Spotlight at the Oscars

YouTube/Kevin Falk

According to an article by Forbes, “Spotlight” winning the Best Picture Oscar was a big surprise for everyone. The film beat “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,” “Mad Max: Fury Road,”, “The Martian,” “Room,” and “The Revenant.” Most people though that “The Revenant” would claim the title due to its recent wins with the Directors Guild and the British film academy.

Directed by Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight” tells the story of how The Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. The movie highlights the importance and power of investigative journalism.

We’ve already shared our thoughts on why “Spotlight” won the Best Picture award. According to ANN, the film succeeded because of its true story, talented cast, original screenplay, direction, and essence. The Los Angeles Times also has its take on how and why “Spotlight” won the award.

They believe that timely headlines is one of the reasons. A week before the Oscars voting period opened, the movie was screened for the Vatican commission on clerical sex abuse, putting it squarely in the minds of film academy members shortly before voting began.

Another theory behind “Spotlight’s” success has to do with the Oscars voting system. Voters rank the nominated films, and the system rewards movies that show up consistently in the voter’s first, second, or even third place choices. As accountants began eliminating the movies with the fewest No.1 votes and moving those ballots to the second and third choices, the “Spotlight” stack continued to grow.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Spotlight” also plays well when watched on DVD, unlike “The Revenant.” Additionally, many people found the brutal violence in “The Revenant” and “The Big Short,” “Spotlight’s” biggest competition, as off-putting, whereas “Spotlight” is a film that most people could live with winning.

These are probably the reasons that “Spotlight” achieved victory. An A.V. Club author put it plainly. “In short, ‘Spotlight’ was the best picture because nobody hated it.” Do you think “Spotlight” deserved to win this title?

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