Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep), the rigid and fear-inspiring principal of the Saint Nicholas Church School, suffers an extreme dislike for the progressive and popular parish priest Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Looking for wrongdoing in every corner, Sister Aloysius believes she's uncovered the ultimate sin when she hears Father Flynn has taken a special interest in a troubled boy. But without proof, the only thing certain is doubt.
Easily dismissed as a vehicle for towering performances by Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman and most of all Amy Adams. This play has been taken to the big screen with reasonable success. The occasional unusual camera angle from Shanley is unwarranted, as your focus never diminishes during the movie. It almost feels as if the director threw in a curve ball just to shake up the audience. At the end you feel as if you have attended a church service. Doubt was surprisingly better than I had anticipated. The subject matter may seem dry, but it is rich with questions and not so many answers. For those tagging this film with an anti-catholic stance I can only question their logic. It is a scenario about decisions and beliefs, something we all can identify with. The end for some makes the 'doubt' and therefore blame easy to pinpoint for some viewers. Yet I think the interactions and emotions run far deeper and will watch this again. Perhaps changing sides once again in the process.
Streep a class of her own
- Doubt review by Corinthian
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You rated this film: 3
Meryl Streep is such a class act it makes this film well worth watching and I actually felt that it ended too soon. Hoffman and Adams perform an excellent support in a story that is totally believable but leaves you feeling a bit short changed.
As mentioned in the other reviews the acting is brilliant even from the minor characters and child actors. The essence is partly whether suspicion warrants intervention (smoke without fire) or does paranoia result in victimisation (shit sticks). There is also the parallel strand of the true nature of the characters of the priest and headmistress, is he evil and is she mad? These questions are left lurking and are only partly concluded. It is not a feel good film but a moving one which will stay with you for days. It is a feel bad film but in an interesting way.