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    September 18, 2009


    English – PG13 – N/A – Drama
    Distributor: Miramax Film
    Running Time: 104 minutes
    Director: John Patrick Shanley
    Producers: Scott Rudin, Mark Roybal; Executive: Celia Costas
    Writers: John Patrick Shanley
    Casts: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Alice Drummond
    Plot: Set at a Catholic school in the Bronx, it centers on a nun who grows suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young black student. Is she being overly protective or not protective enough? And can she work within the system to discover the truth?

    The Verdict

    Green Tea Bern Says:

    What a perfect title to tell you are in a summary – Doubt. This is a well written plot that fuses the several themes into one story. The story inspires us to look into our soul, re-evaluate and ask how doubts and disbelieves can affect our life. The sort of question that makes you think a lot, but also keeps you wonder what is it in the end the story leads to.

    Doubt, sets in a missionary school in 70’s which was headed by Principal Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep). Known for her stern and traditionalist, she was feared by the students in the school. Sister James (Amy Adams) was a new teacher and soon realized that one of her student has alcohol on his breath, thus brought the case to the principal. Sister Aloysius began to suspect that Father Brendan Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) may have something to do with the boy considering their fond relationship, thus doubting that Father Flynn’s words of defiance.

    The movie has a great story that deals with several themes in it. John Patrick Shanley proves to us that he is not just carefully particular in his writing but also fueling the questions and raises doubts among us watching this movie. Religious theme especially with the setting at the missionary school was well incorporated with others like the human persistent to doubt beyond what we see and trust environment. There are also some questions regarding the need for religious reformation in Catholic teaching as we can see today been put forward into this movie.

    The story is not perfectly styled after all. The questions were never answered fully and it keeps a string of unsolved mysteries about the truth. At the end of the movie, we are still unsure of the situation but we do know that Sister Beauvier has had doubts on Father Flynn. The thing is, there is no black or white about who is right and who is wrong here. The shade of grey has may have make many of us lost and cloudy. Perhaps that is the point, whether Father Flynn was guilty or not is a matter subject to debate, but it is very clear that movie points at human’s constant thought of doubts on others when all reasonable judgment want us to believe the person is wrong.

    The star power is certainly huge with enrollment of three Oscar-winners here prove to you that the story is more than just a story itself, but with great casting here. Fortunately, it was not a disappointment and their performance has been very critical. I like the coldness in Streep’s, the outspoken and reformation Hoffman’s and the softness of Adams’. The three may have total opposite of characters in them but it somehow intrigues me to see them more. The characterization building is ample too.

    What ever it is, Doubt presents a smart movie but may be crippled a bit by its little inspiring story telling. Affection is critical and it does not disappoint as much as other. Doubt may not be the movie that steals it all but it certainly makes a great passable and enjoyable movie, while you may find Hoffman, Streep and Adams are such a fine actors of our time as well.

    STORY - 3.5 stars
    CASTS - 4.0 stars
    CINEMATOGRAPHY - 3.5 stars
    EFFECTS - 3.0 stars
    Average - 3.5
    Green-Tea-O-Meter: 18.3
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