|Directed by:||John Patrick Shanley|
|Written by:||John Patrick Shanley|
|Cast:||Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis|
A definite “Oscar” movie that won’t make everyone a believer, but offered up enough interesting dilemmas and effective messages to catch and hold my attention! The movie revolves around Father Flynn (Hoffman), who is trying to make his Church and the school’s customs a bit more lenient and inviting. This doesn’t go over well with the fiercely guarded Sister Aloysius (Streep), who believes in the power of fear and discipline. The two collide as doubt and is formed in the mind of the Sister, when an incident involving Father Flynn is witnessed. There isn’t a lot of things that happen in Doubt besides some sermons, some classroom scenes and a few verbal altercations, but man….just a few of those scenes spit up enough tension and drama to make it all worth it. In the hands of less talented actors, I can see this film being a straight up yawn! But the acting is of course terrific, with all the key players coming through (was there any doubt Hoffman and Streep wouldn’t!) with effective performances by Amy Adams as the young Nun in the Church, and a small role by Viola Davis as a confused Mother being confronted with tough news! Streep is a fairly mean old lady, who only has her own intentions on her mind, and she is tough to watch, but that of course speaks of her acting chops. Hoffman is just immersed in the Preacher character, making us question his possible choices and loving him at the same time!
The film is a little uneven, and at times a tad too slow (the whole film is really a slow character study), but the range of effective messages that the film presents (and the Sermons that send that message home) as well as the satisfying ending make this worth seeing. This isn’t for everyone, as I am sure a good chunk of viewers will be bored out of their mind, but if you like these actors and don’t mind sitting through a slow “Oscar” movie, you should find something to like here.