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Doubt (2008)

Cast: Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, more...
Director: John Patrick Shanley, John Patrick Shanley
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Miramax
Genre: Drama, Politics and Social Issues, Costume Drama/Period Piece
Running Time: 103 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

When the principal (Meryl Streep) of a Bronx Catholic High School accuses a popular priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) of pedophilia, a young nun caught in between the feuding pair becomes hopelessly swept up in the ensuing controversy. 1964, St. Nicholas, the Bronx: The winds of change are sweeping through this tight-knit religious community, and charismatic priest Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is doing his best to adapt by revisiting the school's notoriously strict disciplinary practices. Unfortunately Father Flynn's progressive ideas stand in stark contrast to the longstanding beliefs of Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep), the iron-willed principal, who believes that an oppressive environment of punishment and fear is the only way to keep the student body in line. Suddenly into this tempestuous environment appears young Donald Miller, St. Nicholas' first black student. When hopeful innocent Sister James (Amy Adams) reluctantly reveals to Sister Beauvier that Father Flynn and Donald have been spending an unusual amount of time together in the church rectory, the unrelentingly righteous headmistress begins a merciless crusade to reveal the beloved clergyman as a lecherous child molester and have him permanently expunged from the school. Yet despite her moral certainty that Father Flynn has committed such an unspeakable transgression, Sister Beauvier has not a shred of actual evidence to back up her audacious claim. Now, as Sister Beauvier and Father Flynn enter into an epic battle of wills, the shock waves set into motion by their explosive confrontation threaten to destroy one man's reputation and tear apart the entire surrounding community. John Patrick Shanley adapted his own play for the screen under the guidance of producer Scott Rudin (The Queen, Notes on a Scandal). ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Trying too hard to be post-judgmental by Texan99 September 4, 2010 - 4:17 PM PDT
I was bowled over, as always, by Philip Seymour Hoffman -- so much so that I was willing to overlook the fact that the rest of the movie was playing things a bit too safe. The director believes he is braving dangerous territory by leaving the central moral question (did he or didn't he?) unresolved, and by making the nun who tries to protect a boy from molestation into a somewhat rigid witch, while the possibly pederastic priest is a model of good humor, humility, charisma, and religious open-mindedness. In fact, the priest is so charmingly open-minded that it's not clear he has any religious faith at all, which does make it difficult to determine whether, for all his obvious kindness, he hasn't talked himself into believing that he wouldn't be doing a lonely boy any harm by schtupping him now and then in the vestry room. Unfortunately, the director is 100% behind the priest in his fearless rejection of faith, which means that any potential connection between that condition and his potential crime is something the director wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. Instead, the insistent focus is on whether Meryl Streep's miserably Puritanical streak undermines her in her chosen role as a guardian of the helpless.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.43)
23 Votes
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