Doubt (2008) (PG-13)
How far would you go to make certain that something that you believed in would be carried out? If you thought that was an injustice being done to someone but had no proof—what would you do?
"Doubt" is set in a Catholic church/school. The priest is Father Flynn and the principal of the school is the rigid and cold Sister Aloysius. These two are polar opposites, Father Flynn is kind and thinks that everybody should be given second chances and that the church should be a warm place instead of concentrating of the rigor of traditions while Sister Aloysius feels that nothing should change. Perhaps it's because she's a creature of habit that she feels that everything should remain the way that it is; but whether or not her motives are spelled out entirely she stumbles across a grave instance.
She becomes certain that Father Flynn is conducting inappropriate activities and she becomes set on the idea of taking Father Flynn down. She throws caution to the wind and defies the 'traditional' way of handling things. She goes against her own morals simply because she is so positive that something unsuitable is happening.
She drags Sister James into this mess, a young woman who beams light and happiness. Sister James shares many of the ideals of Father Flynn—she believes in giving people second chances. But as she becomes involved in this situation, her light slowly starts to fade.
Sister Aloysius contacts the mother of the person she thinks is involved with the Father and calls her over to the school. This is where the true point that "Doubt" is trying to convey comes across. In this scene, the acting is so superb—in fact, the whole movie has incredible acting.
Father Flynn is played by a kind-hearted Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman's performance is vastly underrated and should be scrutinized to show how absolutely perfect it is. He got overshadowed by Heath Ledger's chilling performance in "The Dark Knight" during awards season and has since become unknown for this role.
Amy Adams is childish and naive as Sister James, her role is also great. As she begins to understand the gravity of the situation, her conscience wrestles with her and she is visibly shaken.
Sister Aloysius is portrayed by the magnificent Meryl Streep who seems to have no limit to her immense talent. It's such a powerful and commanding role and Streep doesn't shy away from any of the potential.
The last character is Mrs. Miller, played by Viola Davis. It's one of the shortest roles in the movie yet Davis still managed to gain and Oscar nomination for it.
There really are only four characters in this movie and each of the actors that played them got nominated for an Academy Award—that's how great the acting is.
The scene between Mrs. Miller and Sister Aloysius is the heart of the movie, but another scene reveals so much about character and takes your breath away with the acting. The scene is between Sister Aloysius and Father Flynn, who rarely have any scenes together without a mediator. The climax of the movie is here and you soon realize who these people are—or you think you do.
The ending of the movie is much like the title would suggest, it doesn't wrap things up nicely in a little box. But it is one of the most impactful endings in film.
The film is stunning, a great work of art, one of the best dramas of the last few years—maybe ever.
Score: 4 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones