Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer won the Academy Award on Sunday for original screenplay for “Spotlight,” the drama revolving around the Boston Globe’s investigative reporters uncovering a massive cover-up by the Catholic Church of priests molesting young boys.
The film won praise from journalists for its realistic depiction of the newspaper world; many considered it the best film about newspapers since “All the President’s Men.” And in fact Washington Post Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein endorsed the film in Oscar season advertising. The screenplay was heralded for its attention to detail and its thriller-like pacing.
In accepting the Oscar, McCarthy referred to the survivors of the abuse scandals, noting: “We have to make sure this never happens again.”
Going into the 88th Academy Awards, “Spotlight” was considered the odds on favorite to receive the screenplay Oscar. Singer and McCarthy had won the vast majority of the major awards this season, including the BAFTA, Spirit Award, Gotham Independent Film Award, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and National Society of Film Critics honors and the Writers Guild award.
Competing with “Spotlight” were the screenplays of “Bridge of Spies,” “Ex Machina,” “Inside Out” and “Straight Outta Compton.”
“Spotlight” is also Oscar-nominated for best picture, director for McCarthy, supporting actress for Rachel McAdams, supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo and film editing.