“Spotlight’s” Academy Award win for best original screenplay for Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer shone a light on the important work of investigative journalists.
“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable, and for the survivors whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration. We have to make sure this never happens again.” McCarthy said in his acceptance speech for the first award of the evening.
The script, exploring the Boston Globe’s investigation into pedophile priests, topped screenplays for “Bridge of Spies,” “Ex Machina,” “Inside Out” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
“Spotlight” has been the screenplay frontrunner through the awards season as it won at the Writers Guild and at the Spirit Awards, where it received standing ovations Saturday. McCarthy, who also directed, and Singer have made the rounds describing the courage of the Globe journalists portrayed in the film — both for their Pulitzer Prize-winning work in exposing the systematic clergy abuse and for giving wide access to the production team and actors.
The duo noted earlier this month that editor Martin “Marty” Baron (portrayed by Liev Schreiber) had supplied them with extensive emails to keep the timeline straight. They have also expressed frustration over the Catholic Church’s slow response to the scandal, which was first unveiled in 2002.
“We stand on the shoulders of these journalists,” McCarthy said at the Spirits on Saturday.
The film’s closing credits reveal that Bernard Law had resigned his post as Archbishop of Boston in late 2002 and was appointed in 2004 by Pope John Paul II as Archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
It was the first Oscar nomination for Singer. Besides his directing nod for “Spotlight,” McCarthy received an Oscar screenplay nomination for 2009’s “Up.”
“Spotlight” also received Academy Award nominations for best picture, best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo, best supporting actress for Rachel McAdams and best editing for Tom McArdle.
“Spotlight” was co-financed by Participant Media and released by Open Road Films. It has grossed nearly $60 million worldwide.