Sometimes You Just Know: Reviewing the Film ‘Doubt’

What do you do when you believe someone is doing wrong but have no proof? That is the premise of Oscar nominee “Doubt.” The film is hard hitting with excellent performances by Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Director John Patrick Shanley explores the suspicions and doubts of Sister Aloysius Beauvier, principal of St. Nicholas in the Bronx about Father Flynn. Set in 1964 the film shows the subtle changes undergoing in the church while exploring the possibility of a priest who could be molesting a student.

The questions that arises within the plot leaves viewers searching along side Sister Aloysius for a glimmer of truth. Innocent Sister James struggles also with the same questions with unjaded eyes.

When is moral certainty enough to ‘convict’? The film ends with viewers still thinking about the consequences of those doubts and certainties.

As always Streep is transformed into the character she plays. There is no question of the hard edges, the stern compassion and the fire of righteousness from her Sister Aloysius.

Hoffman is believable as Father Flynn. He’s easy to like and feel for and yet you can’t help but wonder if there is more to the story than what you see.

Sister James is played with just the right amount of innocence and wisdom by Adams.

While only on the scene for brief moments Viola Davis plays to perfection the role of mother Mrs. Miller. Her tears are that of a woman dealing with too many conflicts and love.

Streep, Adams and Davis are all in the running Sunday night for an Oscar.

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One response to “Sometimes You Just Know: Reviewing the Film ‘Doubt’

  • hans52

    I LOVED this film, but was annoyed to see a mistake in how the priest was vested for Mass – a mistake that I’ve seen several other films as well: Catholic priests did NOT wear their stoles OVER their chasubles until the early 1970’s, when it became a fad of sorts to do so. In the early 60’s, stoles were worn under the chasuble, and priests at that time also still wore a vestment called the maniple, a rectangular piece of cloth the draped over the forearm. Though some priests today do wear the stole over their chasubles, official directives still say that they are to be worn under them. Why go to all the trouble to create a “period” setting via costumes, and not do research into how vestments were worn?

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