13 July 2017 | sol-
Based on true events, this Canadian movie chronicles a novice newspaper journalist's attempts to expose covered-up abuse at a juvenile detention centre in the early 1970s. As the movie progresses, we gradually find out that he survived an institution himself, which explains why he is so passionate about the case, and a young Elias Koteas is electrifying in the lead role. The structure of the movie leaves a little to be desired though with frequent flashbacks to his childhood/adolescence breaking the tension of the present day action. Some of the flashbacks are memorable (especially what one warden does when he complains about soiled bed sheets) but most just show familiar scenes of drunken fathers, crying mothers and so forth. The other major setback here is a maudlin music score that renders the denouement too sentimental for its own good. When focused on Koteas hitting brick walls and pleading with his sources to go on the record though, the film hits the right notes. The supporting cast come to task very well in this regard with Michael Sarrazin nicely bringing to mind Michael Keaton in 'Spotlight' as the newspaper's chief editor. Koteas though is the biggest attraction here, adding a welcome balance of humour to his often angry character; "they were at the end of his arms" he exclaims when asked where a juvenile delinquent's hands were during shooting.