What a powerful ending, i loved the way it ended, i love that the Nun was questioning everything she believed in. Just fantastic!
A fantastic cast, which then led to fantastic ending which deserved each of them a Golden Globe.
Its a powerful movie about a catholic priest and a black boy that get a bit to 'close', throughout the movie you never hear the words 'Molestered' or 'pedeophile' but from the way the story is being told and from Meryl Streeps character your lead to believe that, that is whats going, however this may not be the case hence the title 'Doubt', you aren't given a proper answer to the accusations which in all honestly could be false.
Throughout the movie your given clues which i guess your ment to pick up on and deduce and come to your own decision, a couple of clues your given is that the priest played by seymore-hoffman has long nails which is very much emphasized throughout the movie which could suggest that the priest is gay which of course in his job and at that era that would be unexceptable!
The second clue is that when Streep is speaking to the young black boys mother she's saying that the boy gets beaten by his father for it, and would be beaten and picked on in school usually. It doesnt say specifics into what she is talking about but again you are left thinking that shes knows about the supposedly 'abuse'; this movie is fantastic and is written very well and is mesmerizing!
I'll leave it to your own mind as to what you think! Enjoy! :)
In a Bronx Catholic school in the 1960's, stern and moralistic school principal Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep) suspects that gregarious priest Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has shown an unnatural and indecent interest in one of the school's alter boys. She is so certain of her suspicions but lacks the evidence to prove it, leading to a battle-of-wits between them.
There are, easily, three main reasons why I enjoyed this film so much and they are: the three actors involved. Amy Adams is one of the strongest young actresses around at present and Streep and Hoffman are two of my all-time favourites. I never tire of watching them and to see them go head-to-head, chewing up the screen with powerful roles, is dramatic gold as far as I'm concerned. Such choice material though, ultimately rests with Shanley. His writing, not only has the characters in doubt but the omission of integral plot developments cleverly leaves the audience with doubts also. Is Father Flynn guilty of such indecency? Or, is Sister Aloysius bitter and slanderous toward the outgoing priest in order to retain her hierarchy? It's an intriguing confrontation, masterfully played out buy a relentless Streep and victimised Hoffman. Adams, meanwhile, is caught between the two in a wonderful show of innocence and hope. All three were Oscar nominated for their performances, and deservedly so. Viola Davis, as the alter boys struggling mother, also deserves mention with some strong displays of emotion. It's a film of performances and everyone is up to the task. Roger Deakins is another deserving of praise, with his exquisite cinematography. As always, his use of the camera captures the mood beautifully with some simple but lush and quaint images.
Ambiguous and tantalising. Some may find the ambiguity frustrating but I found that it kept entirely in-touch with the theme of the film. That being, quite simply... doubt.
Take, for instance, the opening monologue by Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman). In the five minutes that speech is given, the tone is set for the film as we are presented with blurred facts about this popular priest and if he is a pedophile. Then you have the ball busting, completely in control performance of Meryl Streep as she tries her hardest to prove Flynn guilty. Finally you have Amy Adams playing the character that we all are: confused, innocent of what is going on, and caught in an emotional, moral, and spritual battle over who is right and wrong.
Being written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, this is the only film he has made out of his four that still strikes a cord with audiences. He makes this film original, simple yet complex, and does not make the audience feel insulted. He on purpose does not give us all of the facts but left to us to figure out the truth. The best example of this is at the end when we see Streep and Hoffman duke it out in an office. Hearing them yell at each other, both of them being pushed to their limits, it is at this point that Shanley starts having us question Streep completely. Throughout the film, we only hear and see her perspective on everything. While this fight is playing out, we start to believe more and more that she is right. Then at the end, Shanley has Hoffman do something that makes us rethink everything.
But one performance that really stunned me, more so than any of the actors I have mentioned, is the short performance of Viola Davis. She plays this young boy's mother who embodies most inner city mothers in the sense that she forsakes all rationality for her child as long as her child has an education and a guardian. What stunned me was how much she did not care if his innocents was on the line, as long as this priest was their.
Then you have how relevant this film is to the world along with the psychological fear of outside influences of religion. This film is relevant to our world today due to the recent controversies with Vatican over child molestation, and this film not only treats the subject matter with stone cold seriousness, but also with respect and honor, knowing that if done wrong, this film could destroy everything that it represents. With psychological fear, you have to examine the character of Sister Aloysius (Streep). She is the type of person that wants everything to be like the traditional days of religion and America, where it was care free, no one was improper, and everything was old fashion. Aloysius is afraid of everything including Ball Point Pens being used in classrooms. This is worth mentioning because this is heavily counterattacked by Sister James (Adams) and Father Flynn. These two, when not fighting over allegations with molestation, are trying to tell Aloysius that it is okay to all things to change (as howled by Father Flynn to Aloysius: You are keeping this parish in the dark ages!).
To say that this film is a masterpiece would be an understatement. This is one of the most simple, yet complex films about the catholic religion I have seen that is not science fiction. This film touches so many different ideas and topics that it is difficult to explain. With the performances from the cast and the direction/ writing from John Patrick Shenley, Doubt is a no holds bar film that hits for the gut and keeps you hooked until the final shot where you are left with your own idea of what really happened. This is a marvelous film.
What the film has going for it, though, is fantastic acting: of five Oscar nominations, four were for acting. Two long scenes near the end, involving (1) Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, and (2) Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman, were breathtaking chess games, incredibly well played, perhaps most meaningfully by Davis.
Otherwise, the film is a topical drama-by-numbers. That doesn't mean it's not worth seeing: it occasionally wows with bristling dialogue, but otherwise it drags you through a laborious and somewhat predictable story. A good movie, but not a great one, largely because the adaptation wasn't fully tailored to the big screen.
It's a simple film (on the surface), but it's very deep if you take the time to really think about it.
If you enjoy good writing and acting, you will enjoy this film but don't expect a tidy ending...it will leave you with "doubts".
Definitely one of the best films of 2008! Nominated for 5 Academy Awards, 4 of which came from the acting, you must check this film out!
It's originally based on a play, which I'm definitely going to see if it's ever adapted in Holland.
I won't say anything about the movie, because that would ruin the effect.
It's very captivating, and the media coverage on the subject in the last couple of months really gives this movie an extra intensity.