doubt-dvdMiramax Films
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Having just enjoyed the trailer for “Julie and Julia“, I thought it best to finally hunker down and see the incomparable Meryl Streep’s performance in “Doubt,” which recently came out on DVD. I had seen the play on Broadway when it first premiered and was certainly intrigued by the story. Centering on a Catholic boys school in early 1960s New York, the central conflict of this story is suspicion itself. When there are vague suggestions that a priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has taken a special liking to one of his male pupils, Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep) takes her role of feared disciplinarian to new heights as she fights to bring the truth of the matter to light. The eerie quiet of the play which works so well in the theatre (particularly in New York, where theatre is followed by pub-side discussion) is a tough one to translate to the screen. While plays can very often get away with being about ideas, films need a bit more action to keep us engaged. And while the film maintains that uncomfortable quiet, the new layer here are the up-close and remarkable performances from the cast. Streep and Seymour Hoffman are joined by Amy Adams and Viola Davis – each delivering the kind of portrayals that acting students will look to for years. The players are the reason to see “Doubt” even if the story never quite breaks past the whisps of rumours that is the crux of the thing. And for those of us who attended Catholic school (present), there is an added layer of truth and creepiness to all that goes unspoken in those kinds of classrooms where fear of God and proper posture are cherished above all else.