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
Normally we give too much credit to actors. They often work for short periods and force myriad takes. Directors manipulate and cajole them. Then the filmmakers spend months choosing the best shots, carving them and stringing them together to make the story (and the long-gone actors) look good.
"Doubt" is an exception, only in that the actors are especially marvelous. The many close-ups and the length of the shots attest to the trust John Patrick Shanley puts in them. Streep and Hoffman are superb. Adams and Davis are remarkable as well.
Still the most credit for this phenomenal effort must go to Shanley.
What a fascinating story, with layers and springbacks that will leave you thinking and rethinking.
Thank you very much to all involved with this fine film.
131 of 196 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?