In an underdog win for a movie about an underdog profession, the newspaper drama “Spotlight” took best picture Sunday at an Academy Awards marked by protest and outrage, and electrified by an unflinching Chris Rock.
Tom McCarthy’s film about the Boston Globe’s investigative reporting on sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests won over the favored
frontier epic “The Revenant.” McCarthy’s well-crafted procedural, led by a strong ensemble cast, had lagged in the lead-up to the Oscars, losing ground to the flashier filmmaking of Alejandro Inarritu’s film.
But “Spotlight” – an ode to the hard-nose, methodical work of a journalism increasingly seldom practiced – took the night’s top honor despite winning only one other Oscar for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s screenplay. Such a sparsely-awarded best picture winner hasn’t happened since 1952’s “The Greatest Show On Earth.