McCarthy to direct Catholic sex scandal film
It looks as though the film that is loosely based on the birth of the organised religion, or you might prefer the word cult, of Scientology is not going to be the only dramatic look at an organised religion, or again you might prefer the word cult, as word has arrived that Thomas McCarthy is about to tackle a dramatic interpretation of another religious group's true story.
McCarthy is aiming big with his film as it has been revealed that he's going to be making a film about the beginnings of the revelations regarding the Catholic Church and the sexual abuse of young children by members of the Church.
It's not a film that is going to be without controversy but the story looks like it won't be hanging onto the shocking elements rather it is described as being a film based more on All the President's Men than anything else, looking to the people who were investigating the conspiracy to try and keep the scandal quiet, about the reporters at the Boston Globe who revealed the original story and brought the worldwide abuse and cover-up to the attention of the public.
Variety through First Showing has the story that reveals Thomas McCarthy has been working on the project for over a year mainly due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, and I would suspect not just that but the media department in the church would start working hard against it almost immediately.
The film will follow the reporters Michael Rezendes, Sacha Pfeiffer, Matt Carroll, Walter "Robby" Robinson, Ben Bradlee Jr. and Marty Baron who were at the heart of the investigation into the scandal and who worked in the team that investigated thousands of documents and covered interview after interview across the New England area to reveal the scandal that began a series of revelations that hit the Catholic Church hard. This was really the first big story that revealed the horrendous abuse of victims and the cover-up that followed and was to mark the beginning of story after story of similar abuses and cover-ups that covered the globe.
I'm quite surprised that the story has been revealed at this point as McCarthy's project hasn't yet secured funding and you know that the organisation will be pushing its media team towards Hollywood as soon as they heard about the project to try and lobby for the film not to be made, or at least for it to be made with as much sway towards them as possible.
In a country like America I would have thought that they would have made sure the funding was in place before they revealed the story of the production to the world, although perhaps by revealing it they hope that this will mean the film can't simply be pushed to the back burner and forgotten about.
It's certainly a powerful story to be told and it needs to be. I remember watching a film called Twist of Faith (Filmstalker review) which was a documentary about a man who began to realise he was abused by his local priest as a boy and followed the effect that had on him, his family and those people around him. It was one of the most powerful and moving documentaries I have ever seen in my life and managed to connect me with the man and his family so deeply that I still remember how I felt watching it to this day. I really felt for that man and it was a film that managed to transcend the typical barriers films like this face where the audience don't understand and have never experienced what the person in front of the camera has.
I really do hope that this film manages to capture some of the emotional connection and power that Twist of Faith provided because it shouldn't just be about the reporters exposing the scandal in a nice Erin Brokovich meets All the President's Men type of film, this has to be about the people that it affected, the lives the church trampled all over, and the real world impact.
Looking at the films that Thomas McCarthy has delivered already you can see that the writer and director is well suited for this kind of material - The Station Agent, The Visitor (Filmstalker review) and Win Win all show a strong emotional connection through the story and manage to get you to the character despite anything else that is going on in the story. I really liked The Visitor so I'm hopeful McCarthy can deliver something special with this film.