Friday, January 9, 2009

Did he, or didn't he?


Consider yourself warned :)

If for no other reason than to see Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams in one film, I was excited to see Doubt. Of course, none of them disappointed. The movie is set in 1964 at a Catholic school in Boston. Hoffman plays a new priest at the parish, Father Flynn, Streep is the head nun/principal of the school, Sister Aloysius, and Adams is a naive young nun teaching the 8th grade, Sister James. The story was originally a play, so the majority of the film is talking; despite the lack of car chases and explosions, the film is riveting. Completely absorbing. The hour and a half flies by in a mixture of tense looks, biting and witty dialogue, and contradictory evidence about whether or not Father Flynn committed the offense he's accused of by Streep's character.

You'll agonize at the end of the movie, because the film doesn't give you a definitive answer about the priest's actions; you never know for sure if he's innocent, or if Sister Aloysius was correct in her suspicions and accusation. Possibly, it doesn't matter. Even if the priest did not commit the crime, the idea was out there floating around and that could not be taken back. All three actors give dazzling performance (expect Oscar nominations), and if this limited release makes it to your town, you should definitely check it out.


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