Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Doubt”

(Miramax Films. 1 hour, 44 minutes. Rated PG-13 for thematic material. Directed by John Patrick Shanley.) Meryl Streep (Sister Aloysius Beauvier), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Father Brendan Flynn), Amy Adams (Sister James), Viola Davis (Mrs. Miller). Music by Howard Shore.

At a Catholic middle school in the Bronx during the winter of 1964, Sister Aloysius (Streep) suspects, through a tip given by the young Sister James (Adams), that Father Flynn (Hoffman) may be taking an unwholesome interest in Donald Miller, the school’s first black student. The film, which is deceptively simplistic, succeeds primarily due to the power of its outstanding cast. Adams’s sweet and idealistic Sister James serves as an ample foil to Streep’s fierce and nigh-tyrannical Sister Aloysius, whose showdown with Hoffman’s fiery Father Flynn is reason enough itself to see the movie. Viola Davis is also unforgettable as the conflicted Mrs. Miller, who turns much of the situation on its ear in one emotionally intense walk with Sister Aloysius. Set in a time of reform in the Catholic Church, and based on a play written during the recent church scandals, this film is more about the conflict between moral certainty and compassion than it is about pedophilia. It asks some very hefty questions that, to the benefit of the movie, are never fully answered. Given the film’s title, one would expect nothing less, and the sharp writing and spot-on performances give you plenty to ponder once you leave the theater. An incisive and thought-provoking piece of cinema.

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Jared Counts

Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in Febraury 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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