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 18 mins) William is sent home for having a bloody nose. He walks through an intersection with crosswalk indicators. The traffic signal changes from red to green, but the crosswalk indicators don't change. See more »
There is no doubt. Nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role and for Best Writing, Doubt is an acting tour de force.
Remember this name. John Patrick Shanley. He is the writer of only a dozen movies, but a few of them are quite good. He wrote Alive with Ethan Hawke, Joe Versus the Volcano with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and the sweetheart maker, Moonstruck with Nicholas Cage and Cher (Oscar for screen writing).
The 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this Broadway play is all dialog, acting, and weather. Cold weather. Cold northeastern winter weather. The kind that blows across your path, knocks down limbs in your way, obscures your vision and maybe makes you see things that aren't there. The kind of hard wind that blows away the fine line dividing right and righteous, wrong and wronged. The kind of cold Meryl Streep exposes as Viola Davies offers up her son to the bare bones of stark truths.
Just as Shanley did with the play, none of the other actors know if Father Flynn is guilty. Yet, the Spartan dialog gives these accomplished angels their wings. Doubt floats with the power of their performances. Nary is a word wasted. Neither a look nor a glance spent unwisely.
"Doubt," Philip Seymour Hoffman's character says in the opening siloque, "can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty."
With performances like Julia & Julie, Meryl Streep will soon be sweeping aside all other acting award records. Those who love her need look no further than Doubt for proof of her incredible talents.
Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis and John Patrick Shanley follow in her footsteps. They track her out of the warmth of what you think you know is right and good and into a shivering Bronx, dusted with unfeeling snow. 8/16/2009
Love these lines!
Father Flynn (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)in Doubt:
Well, I'm not going to let her keep this parish in the dark ages! And I'm not going to let her destroy my spirit of compassion!
That I can look at your face and know your philosophy. It's kindness.
There are people who go after your humanity, Sister, that tell you the light in your heart is a weakness. Don't believe it. It's an old tactic of cruel people to kill kindness in the name of virtue. There's nothing wrong with love.