Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight, about the Boston Globe investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church, won Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards.
“We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters,” producer Blye Pagon Faust said in her acceptance speech. “Not only to they effect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.”
And producer Michael Sugar said he hoped the film’s message would reach the pope. “This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” producer Michael Sugar said in his acceptance speech. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.”
Backstage, he elaborated on his comments regarding the leader of the Catholic Church, saying, “I hope that you journalists in here and throughout the world will help resonate our message all the way to the Vatican, and maybe we can have some real change. That’s what we hope to accomplish. That’s what this is really about — for all of us is to talk about this film and what happened and because these things are still happening. The story of Spotlight has really just begun.”
Spotlight’s deep ensemble cast includes Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Brian d’Arcy James, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci, and Billy Crudup. McAdams and Ruffalo were both nominated in the supporting actor categories. McCarthy, his co-writer Josh Singer, and the cast conducted hours of interviews with the real-life Globe journalists portrayed in the film to accurately depict their Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation, which blew open decades of child sex abuse in Boston.
The best picture win was the second Oscar of the night for Spotlight, which was also honored for original screenplay — the first time a best picture winner won fewer than three statuettes since 1952’s The Greatest Show on Earth.
In all, Spotlight was nominated for six Oscars, including best picture, best director for McCarthy, best original screenplay for McCarthy and Singer, and film editing.
Spotlight beat out The Revenant, The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Brooklyn, The Martian, and Bridge of Spies.
Additional reporting by C. Molly Smith.