Oscar season is here, and one of the best picture nominees is a film that hits pretty close to home for us here in the newsroom: “Spotlight.” In case you haven’t seen it yet, it’s a movie about The Boston Globe’s investigative team that exposed rampant child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church’s ranks.
The groundbreaking investigation behind the movie has left a legacy that still leads to reporting on and around the scandal today – revelations that we explore in this week’s episode of Reveal.
So with “Spotlight” on the mind, I asked newsroom staff members to tell me about some of their favorite movies about our most favorite subject (read: journalism).
As the results started trickling in, we found ourselves in a 15-way tie. 15!
While no closer to a collective “favorite,” at least we were proving ourselves to be quite the special snowflakes.
Finally, we started getting somewhere because votes for “All the President’s Men” started rolling in. With 12 votes, the film adaptation of that time Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered a scandal of presidential proportions at The Washington Post launches to the front of the pack.
So why is this your favorite movie about journalism?
“Jason Robards as Ben Bradlee is the prototypical editor.” – Michael Corey, senior news applications developer
“Investigative reporters as heroes.” – Lance Williams, senior reporter
“The scene where Ben Bradlee admonishes his reporters not to fuck up again because we’ve all been there. …” – Eric Sagara, senior data reporter
“The scene when Woodward asks Ben Bradlee the difference between a ‘non-denial denial’ and an actual denial, and Bradlee replies, ‘Well, if they call us goddamn liars, we should start circling the wagons.’ That’s one of my favorite comeback lines of all time.” – David Gill, accountant
“The performances are iconic, and the closeness to the era of Watergate make this feel pretty real despite the star power.” – Jim Briggs, lead sound designer and engineer
The runner-up is no surprise: “Spotlight”
“I liked Marty Baron’s character. He was not social, didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, but he won me over with his methodical urging to push the story forward, making it not just about a handful of priests, but the institution of the Catholic Church.” – Amy Walters, reporter/producer
“It was really patient, clean and engrossing. Subtle but really hard to turn away from.” – Byard Duncan, community manager
“When Stanley Tucci tells Mark Ruffalo that his motion is public but that the documents are not in the courthouse because, ‘This is Boston.’ I love this scene for so many reasons, but mainly because it shows that there’s an obvious cover-up.” – Fernanda Camarena, reporter/producer
And the nominees are …
So if you’re looking for something to watch or found yourself thinking the same thing as one of our staffers – that “this has made it clear to me that I need to watch more movies about journalism” – here’s the full list of movie recommendations our staff submitted:
- “All the President’s Men” (12 votes)
- “Spotlight” (6 votes)
- “The Insider” (4 votes)
- “Network” (4 votes)
- “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (4 votes)
- “Broadcast News” (3 votes)
- “Capote” (2 votes)
- “Shattered Glass” (2 votes)
- “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2 votes)
- “Batman” (2 votes)
- “Fletch Lives”
- “Page One: Inside The New York Times”
- “The Front Page”
- “The Paper”
- “Citizen Kane”
- “Before the Rain”
- “Mystery of the Wax Museum”
- “Absence of Malice”
- “His Girl Friday”
- “The Year of Living Dangerously”
- “Woman of the Year”
- “Die Fälschung” (“Circle of Deceit”)
- “Night Editor”
- “Never Been Kissed”
- “Groundhog Day”