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March 5, 2011

Doubt

by Jonn Holland

Recently I watched Doubt, which came out in theaters in December of 2008. If you have not seen this yet it is certainly worth viewing. Especially for those who like a good mystery.

The film is adapted from the play written by director John Patrick Shanley and stars Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The story in the film takes place during the nineteen sixties shortly after the assassination of John F Kennedy at a small Catholic school in Brooklyn, New York.

As the tale unfolds we are introduced to Sister Aloysius Beauvier and Sister James. Two nuns who are on a mission to uncover the truth concerning the relationship between one of the students and Father Flynn, the school’s priest.

The remarkable thing about this film is that it approaches controversial subject matter without spelling it out or “spoon feeding” the audience. We are instead left to our own interpretation of what has transpired, to ask ourselves; “Has Father Flynn done what Sister Beauvier suspects he has or is she paranoid?” The film even appears to be asking itself the same question. At times the answer seems clear, until a moment of compassion or a piece of dialogue pollutes your train of thought  and changes your perspective.

Simply put, Doubt is a masterful work of art with visually stunning cinematography and superb acting combined with an emotionally driven story that is less about solving the mystery than it is about the line between certainty and doubt.

For those who have yet to see this film I highly recommend it.

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