From Miramax Films comes one of the most honored and acclaimed motion pictures of the year, DOUBT. Based on the Pulitzer Prize - and Tony Award-winning play, DOUBT is a mesmerizing, suspense-filled drama with riveting performances from Maryle Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Violoa Davis that will have you pinned to the edge of your seat.Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Streep), the rigid and fear-inspiring principal of the Saint Nicholas Church School, suffers an extreme dislike for the progressive and popular parish priest Father Flynn (Hoffman). Looking for wrongdoing in every corner, Sister Aloysius believes she's uncovered the ultimate sin when she hears Father Flynn has taken a special interest in a troubled boy. But without proof, the only thing certin is doubt.
One moment she’s a high powered cold and demanding boss in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). One moment she’s a probing TV journalist in Lions for Lambs (2007). Before you know it, she has transformed into a singing single mother in Mama Mia! (2008), and even before you can shout “Dancing Queen”, Oscar winner Meryl Streep has morphed into a conservative and avenging nun in this movie. With that, she has effortlessly garnered a record breaking 15 Oscar nominations for acting, a feat which the movie community considers as something only the greatest living film actress can achieve. Hence, it is not difficult to realise that this Oscar nominated movie is one that is driven by powerful performances.
Set in a Catholic school located in the Bronx, the John Patrick Shanley directed film has a nun as its protagonist. She becomes suspicious when a priest begins taking too much interest in the life of a young black student. This sets up the perfect dramatic tension for a film draped in religious overtones - Is the nun being overly protective or overly guarded? And how would she work within the system to discover the truth, which may not really be the most important thing these days?
Based on director Patrick Shanley’s stage play of the same name, you can almost see the story being played out on stage when you watch the movie. The cast’s movements from place to place in the same scene would look really nice on stage. In fact, sometimes, you’d wish to have the theatrical feeling of “liveness” when watching this 104 minute movie. While this may not work for the average movie goer who likes his movie loud and full of action, the film appreciator will note the fine direction and every minute movement of the characters, and fully understand the undercurrents and strain throughout the movie.
Then there are also the powerhouse performances by the cast members of the movie. Nominated for Oscars are Streep (Best Actress of course), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Supporting Actor for the priest in question), Amy Adams and Viola Davis (Best Supporting Actresses for their roles as a idealistic nun and a suffering black mother respectively), and these fine actors of our generation are why this movie is worth your time.
Although this finely produced picture did not bring home any Oscar in the end, the intricacy and the depth of the messages behind the film will awe you. The emotional roller coaster ride comes to a high point at the end of the film, where after all the drama, Streep’s character utters two lines: “I have doubts. I have such doubts.”
And if this doesn’t make you think about how complex human nature is, we don’t know what will move you as a human being anymore.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains quite a bit of bonus. First up, there is Feature Commentary with Writer/Director John Patrick Shanley where the filmmaker tells us in detail about the making of the movie. From Stage to Screen is a 19 minute featurette where the writer/director talked about the inspiration for adapting the stage play into a movie – it was a nun which influenced Patrick Shanley greatly who made him want to make this movie. In The Cast of Doubt, we get an Entertainment Weekly journalist talking to the Oscar nominated cast (Streep, Seymour Hoffman, Adams, Davis) about how they are awed by the play, and how they went on to portray the characters in the movie. The five minute Scoring Doubt brings you to the recording sessions where Oscar winning Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) conducts the string-heavy orchestra. In The Sisters of Charity, nuns who inspire the look of the nuns in the movie are interviewed about how they led their lives in the 1970s.
The disc’s visual transfer is clear, while there are Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound in English and Portuguese audio tracks to choose from. Also included is a Dolby Digital 2.0 Thai audio track.
by John Li