In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parents' jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
A grief-stricken mother takes on the LAPD to her own detriment when it stubbornly tries to pass off an obvious impostor as her missing child, while also refusing to give up hope that she will find him one day.
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
(at around 1h 35 mins) In the final scene, Sister James walks up to the seated Sister Aloysius. When the camera zooms out at the very end, there are no footprints in the snow on the sidewalk. The snow was added in post-production. See more »
John Patrick Shanley has done a magnificent job of adapting his play "Doubt" for film, and an equally fine job of directing it.
I was very privileged to see this play on Broadway with two of the most gifted actors on stage, Cherry Jones and Brian O'Byrne, both of whom could have starred in this film. Of course it wouldn't have made a red cent, so Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were cast, two brilliant actors, and although different from the stage cast, they are both equally effective.
The story is set in 1964 where the principal of a school, Sister Aloysius, suspects Father Flynn of taking an inappropriate interest in a black student, Donald. Flynn denies this, stating that the boy, as the only black boy in the school, needs friendship and guidance. The final confrontation between the nun and priest is one of the most riveting scenes you'll ever see. When I saw it in the theater, I thought my heart would stop.
Shanley has deliberately left the question of whether or not Father Flynn is a pedophile ambiguous, and this is what makes the film fascinating. Persuasive arguments can be made on both sides, and behavior can be interpreted in different ways. It's a great life lesson if nothing else.
I can't help but compare this cast with the cast I saw. First of all, Shanley has created the real Catholic McCoys as they were in 1964 - the killer nun, the buddy priest, and the sweet, naive young nun (Amy Adams) who takes one side over another. As the inflexible Sister Aloysius, Meryl Streep is terrific and gives a much more emotional performance than I saw on stage, while Hoffman gives a less emotional one but brings a gentleness to the role. Both approaches work for both roles, as they are so well structured. Adams is perfect as the young, confused nun caught between these two formidable personalities. As Donald's mother, Viola Davis gives us another point of view, the point of view of someone who cares deeply about her son but is pragmatic, too, and feels limited in her choices.
Highly recommended and makes for a great debate. Though as one who went through 12 years of Catholic school, I have to admit that the stage actress Cherry Jones was EXACTLY like the nuns I had in school. Mean ones.
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