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Doubt (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama, Mystery | 25 December 2008 (USA)
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A Catholic school principal questions a priest's ambiguous relationship with a troubled young student.

Writers:

John Patrick Shanley (screenplay), John Patrick Shanley (play)
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Popularity
4,016 ( 380)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 88 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Bennett Miller
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Meryl Streep ... Sister Aloysius Beauvier
Philip Seymour Hoffman ... Father Brendan Flynn
Amy Adams ... Sister James
Viola Davis ... Mrs. Miller
Alice Drummond ... Sister Veronica
Audrie Neenan ... Sister Raymond
Susan Blommaert ... Mrs. Carson
Carrie Preston ... Christine Hurley
John Costelloe ... Warren Hurley
Lloyd Clay Brown ... Jimmy Hurley
Joseph Foster Joseph Foster ... Donald Miller (as Joseph Foster II)
Mike Roukis ... William London
Haklar Dezso Haklar Dezso ... Zither Player
Frank Shanley Frank Shanley ... Kevin
Robert Ridgell ... 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:

priest | student | nun | boy | catholic | See All (251) »

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La duda See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$507,226, 14 December 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$33,422,556, 5 April 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The church organist, Robert Ridgell, is now Director of Music and Worship Arts of Christ Church Charlotte, NC. (2016) See more »

Goofs

During the sermon, the burse (the rectangular object on top of the chalice veil on the altar) is incorrectly placed. At a Low Mass in 1964, the burse would have been removed from the chalice at the beginning, and placed to the left of the chalice, leaning upright. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in The Big Bang Theory: The Killer Robot Instability (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Reginella Campagnola
Written by Eldo Di Lazzaro, Bruno Cherubini (as C. Bruno)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Power Of Doubt
20 March 2009 | by ChrysanthepopSee all my reviews

'Doubt' has turned out to be quite a fascinating puzzle. The story is pretty much told through dialogue rather than portrayal of events. Shanley's overwhelming screenplay is so effective and the element of mystery is carried out so strongly that even the viewer is left doubting the actions of the priest and the motives of the head nun (were her accusations legitimate or was it all an intent to ruin the priest). His incredible direction takes us through the psyche of the four principle characters.

Needless to say, the outstanding performances are just the necessary requirements that Shanley has successfully met. After all, who could ask for a better cast than Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis? All these actors display some of the best acting of their career. It is both the dialogue delivery and the non-verbal gestures that strengthens the doubts in the viewers mind and makes the characters nonetheless more convincing.

The slightly washed-out colours give the look of the 60s but also adds to the mysterious atmosphere. 'Doubt' is a very thought-provoking film. It has one questioning. Should the nun have reacted or should she have waited for evidence? But what if it was already too late for evidence? What has doubt done to them? It has them questioning themselves constantly. It has stolen their sleep. We accept that it is human to doubt but what does doubt do to us? What kind of power does it hold above us? How do we react on it? When should we react on it? The director beautifully manages to convey and provoke this without appearing pretentious or preachy.


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