Friday, December 26, 2008

Doubt. Movie Review

I have never done a movie review so bear with me. I recently saw the movie Doubt. Being Catholic I had my suspicions going into the movie thinking that they were going to take every cheap shot they could at the Catholic Church, and they did take a couple. That being said, I thought the movie was excellent. The depiction of the Church at that point in history I find to be very accurate. The clash of liberalism and traditionalism is well portrayed at times in the movie. I thought the acting was great and both of the lead characters played by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep were well played by both. What was a pleasure in addition to the lead actors was the supporting role played by Amy Adams who played Sister James. She was a treat to watch and she really glued the film together. I would like to see the picture again to really watch the cleverness of the story as it unfolds. The cinematography was great as well. The film has its comical moments, and its serious moments, sometimes both intertwined together. I particularly enjoyed the school room scenes with the kids getting in trouble. It reminded me of the stories my step-dad used to tell me when he went to Catholic school. I have to give the film a 5 out of 5 popcorn and soda rating. That is it for my review. Enjoy the show! Let me know your thoughts on the movie.


Anonymous said...

This movie almost gets the time and place so close to actuality that it is eerie. Streep's Sr. Aloyisious is a masterpiece of acting; she is the villian, however, in the piece. And that is the failing of this movie. Streep, wise to the ways of eighth graders, prowls rather than acts as principal. Any nun acting as principal in a working class parish in the fall of 1963 would have had her own full time classroom as well as being principal. Those classrooms would have had somewhere from 30 to 45 students. But like Sr. Aloyisius, the nuns were a force for virtue and discipline. Streep's character belies the respect the principal had. The movie might be better entitled "Hipocracy" as each character exhibits this failing: Streep listening to the transistor radio, Hoffmann when he gossips at dinner with the pastor, Davis when she would let her son be abused rather than risk his admission to HS and so on. The writer JP Shandley seems to showcase Catholic education as a little shop of horrors rather than the magnificant achievement it was pre-VII. Indeed, if only a legion or two of these great educating nuns were available to run our schools today. Doubt is revisionist history run amok in an anti-Catholic era.

Matthew Bellisario said...

I appreciate your comments on the movie. I must however ask, is this liberal mentality that followed VC II not already taking its hold in the Church the few years prior to it? So is it this movie that unrealistic in depicting some of these flaws? While I am a staunch defender of the Church and I cannot stand cheap shots against the Church, I don't have a problem attempting to depict a less than perfect situation in the Church, especially at a well known time of turmoil. I will not disagree that the education of Catholic schools before VCII were much better than after. I however have my suspicions as to how good it was in the late 50s and early 60s based on people that I know who grew up with a Catholic education at this time, who have no clue as to what the Church actually teaches. Thanks again for your thoughts.