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A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

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(screenplay), (play)
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2,852 ( 47)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 80 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
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Sister Veronica
Audrie Neenan ...
Sister Raymond
...
Mrs. Carson
...
Christine Hurley
...
Warren Hurley
...
Jimmy Hurley
Joseph Foster ...
Donald Miller (as Joseph Foster II)
...
William London
Haklar Dezso ...
Zither Player
Frank Shanley ...
Kevin
...
Organist
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Storyline

It's 1964, St. Nicholas in the Bronx. A charismatic priest, Father Flynn, is trying to upend the school's strict customs, which have long been fiercely guarded by Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the iron-gloved Principal who believes in the power of fear-based discipline. The winds of political change are sweeping through the community, and indeed, the school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. But when Sister James, a hopeful innocent, shares with Sister Aloysius her guilt-inducing suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to Donald, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to unearth the truth and to expunge Flynn from the school. Now, without a shard of proof besides her moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn which threatens to tear apart the community with irrevocable consequences. Written by Miramax Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

school | priest | student | nun | boy | See All (248) »

Taglines:

There is no evidence. There are no witnesses. But for one, there is no doubt.

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La duda  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$507,226 (USA) (12 December 2008)

Gross:

$33,422,556 (USA) (3 April 2009)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When filming was over, director John Patrick Shanley sent Amy Adams the Nativity Scene that Sister Veronica puts together near the end of the film as a gift. See more »

Goofs

The classroom door opens inward. Ever since the 1908 Collinwood school fire in Cleveland, laws have required classroom doors to open outward. It was initially believed that the panicking children pushed against the doors, which prevented escape from the fire and resulted in 172 deaths. However, later investigations proved that the doors did in fact open outward. The school was rebuilt and renamed Memorial school. It's surrounded by gardens in memory of the children who died there. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christine Hurley: Jimmy? Come on! You're serving today.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

All People that on Earth Do Dwell
(uncredited)
Music by Loys Bourgeois
Lyrics by William Kethe
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely riveting!
31 August 2009 | by (bahamas) – See all my reviews

Wow! Incredible performances from Meryl Streep and Philip Seymore Hoffman. Mesmerizing intensity from Streep as the nun seeking to find Hoffman guilty of a sin he may or may not have committed. Amy Adams gives a sincere performance as the nun who sets the ball rolling with her suspicions that Hoffman may have molested a black student. The scenes between Streep and Hoffman crackle with intelligence and frightening intensity. Streep, as the unrelenting figure of justice, determined at any cost to destroy Hoffman, is terrifying and unrelenting. Hoffman gives a performance less restrained and mannered than the one he gave in Capote (and won the Oscar for) and boy, does he ever deserve to have won a second one for this outing. An absolute knockout, nuanced and convincing in every way. What a masterful performance! John Patrick Shanley's script is riveting from start to finish. If anyone has any doubts about watching this movie due to the theme then put those doubts aside as the writing and acting are without doubt amongst the finest ever committed to film. A superb piece of work.


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