Doubt (2008) Poster

(I) (2008)

Philip Seymour Hoffman: Father Brendan Flynn



  • Father Brendan Flynn : Doubt can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'

  • Father Brendan Flynn : [to Sister James]  There are people who go after your humanity, Sister, that tell you that 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.

  • Father Flynn : Where is your compassion?

    Sister Aloysius : Nowhere you can get at it.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : You have no right to act on your own! You have taken vows, obedience being one! You answer to us! You have no right to step outside the church!

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : I will step outside the church if that's what needs to be done, 'til the door should shut behind me! I will do what needs to be done, though I'm damned to Hell! You should understand that, or you will mistake me.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : I can fight you.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : You will lose.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : You haven't the slightest proof of anything!

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : But I have my certainty! And armed with that, I will go to your last parish, and the one before that if necessary. I'll find a parent.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : Even if you feel certainty, it is an emotion not a fact.

  • Sister Aloysius Beauvier : What happened in the rectory?

    Father Brendan Flynn : Happened? Nothing happened. I had a talk with a boy.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : About what?

    Father Brendan Flynn : Private matter.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : He's twelve years old, what could be "private"?

  • Sister Aloysius Beauvier : May I ask what you are writing down with that ball-point pen?

    Father Brendan Flynn : Oh, nothing. It's an idea for a sermon.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : You have one right now?

    Father Brendan Flynn : I get them all the time.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : How fortunate.

    Father Brendan Flynn : I forget them so I have to write them down.

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : What is the idea?

    Father Brendan Flynn : Intolerance.

  • Father Brendan Flynn : [referring to Sister Aloysius]  The dragon is hungry.

  • [Father Flynn enters Sister Aloysius' room, looking very nervous] 

    Father Brendan Flynn : [nervously]  May I come in?

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : [not looking at him]  A third party would be required.

    Father Brendan Flynn : Look, what was Donald's mother doing here?

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : [looking at him]  We were having a chat.

    Father Brendan Flynn : About what?

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : [slowly approaches him]  A third party would truly be required!

    Father Brendan Flynn : [entering the room]  No sister, no third party. Me and you are due for a talk, you have to stop this campaign against me!

  • Father Brendan Flynn : [to Sister James about Sister Aloysius]  The dragon is hungry.

  • Sister Aloysius Beauvier : So you talked to Sister James. Well, of course you talked to Sister James.

    Father Brendan Flynn : Did you know Donald's father beats him?

    Sister Aloysius Beauvier : Yes.

    Father Brendan Flynn : And might that not account for the odd behavior Sister James noticed in the boy?

See also

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