Doubt (2008)
March 30, 2019 1:19 PM - Subscribe

This quiet, powerful film takes place in a 1964 Roman Catholic elementary school in the Bronx. Sister James (Amy Adams) tells the strict principal (Meryl Streep) that Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) might have too much personal attention with the school's only black student, thus leading to a crusade against Flynn. Viola Davis has one scene only as Donald Miller's mother.

(This 2008 film is the last from the director who was later accused himself of sexual assault).
posted by growabrain (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A central question with top actors all around. I have seen it once all the way through and need to do so again one of these days.

The director of the movie also wrote the play, which he adapted for the screen himself.

Wiki: "The film and the cast earned numerous awards and nominations including five Academy Award nominations: for Best Actress for Streep, Best Supporting Actor for Hoffman, Best Supporting Actress for both Adams and Davis, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Shanley."
posted by Fukiyama at 4:27 PM on March 30, 2019

Really fine film. I saw this twice: the second time around (a couple years ago) I realized how deadly serious Streep's character is about getting things right "this time." I don't know how I missed it the first time but it's clear that the character has walked through a similar situation at least one other time. This is probably my favorite of Streep's performances because it's so unlike anything else she's ever done.
posted by Sheydem-tants at 6:00 PM on March 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

the play made it clear that the boy had previously been the initiator wrt his attractions to older men; this was left out of the film.
posted by brujita at 7:30 PM on March 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

The thing that has stuck with me, that completely ruined the film, is the final scene. Streep wailing, ā€œIā€™m just so full of.... doubt.ā€ The longest pause you have ever experienced in life allowing you to know exactly what word is coming, and hey, guess what the title is? Does this happen in the play?
posted by loriginedumonde at 6:21 AM on March 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

the same line is in the play; I remember Cherry Jones delivering it emphatically.
posted by brujita at 12:16 PM on March 31, 2019

the scenes juxtaposing the priests eating roast beef with the nuns eating soup aren't in the play.
posted by brujita at 3:00 PM on March 31, 2019

When I saw this the first time I liked Hoffman and Streep's performances more than the movie per se.

Watching it a little bit now, laughing at a very early scene:

Father Flynn: How much worse is it for a lone person stricken by a private calamity?
[old woman on screen]
Flynn VO: "No one knows I'm sick."
[aging man on screen]
Flynn VO: "No one knows I lost my last real friend."
[back to Flynn]
Flynn: "No one knows I've done something wrong."
posted by fleacircus at 4:33 PM on April 1, 2019

Ah I'd forgotten the use of hmmm how to say it, cutesy stage play dramatic devices that are kind of a pet peeve of mine, maybe this was the movie that crystallized my dislike. (I'm talking about for example: the telephone ringing during a conversation. Or the "you blew out my light" in response to a character's little impassioned speech. Or the bouncing back and forth of a line like "is something the matter?" Or to a lesser extent the "it takes a cat" interwoven event as cheap line delivery.)
posted by fleacircus at 4:31 AM on April 2, 2019

"Hey, that's the name of the show!"
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:07 PM on April 2, 2019 [2 favorites]

Yeah that last line is like too bad to even criticize.
posted by fleacircus at 3:43 PM on April 2, 2019

(Kind of unrelated, but here is) Viola Davis overcoming her fear of flying at 53
posted by growabrain at 8:02 PM on April 2, 2019

A great movie. I saw the movie when it opened and still think about it occasionally. Its subject matter has only become more topical. The young nun is a young Amy Adams before she became a well known celebrity.
posted by xammerboy at 10:17 PM on April 5, 2019

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