Doubt (2008)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis

Directed by: John Patrick Shanley

PG-13. 104 mins

While it’s clear that Doubt translates much better on stage than on film, the performances are nothing short of spectacular. Meryl Streep plays Sister Aloysius, the tough principal of a Catholic high school in 1960s Bronx. When progressive Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) sweeps in and attempts to change the ways of the church, their battle of wills begins. Soon,  Sister Aloysius accuses Father Flynn of pedophilia with the school’s only black student and his teacher, Sister James (Amy Adams) gets caught in the crossfire of all the gossip and accusations. This isn’t one of the best films but when the actors are allowed to just stand there and argue with each other it’s stunning to watch them work. Doubt is a well-acted exploration of many tough themes that will generate discussion but probably not multiple viewings – * * * 1/2

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