Is, strongly believing in something wrong, can turn out to be true?
Sometimes, when you really want to believe in a thing, you happen to communicate that belief to other people, even though is a possibly not correct. That how I always considered religion to be. But, this is not about why I believe, or what I don’t believe in.
Its 1964, and segregation is still printed in people’s mind in the United States, it is getting better, though. Nevertheless, a black child surrounded by white children, may not necessarily leads to tolerance and acceptance. That’s why protecting Donald Miller (Joseph Foster) is a priority. Now, child molestation in catholic churches, is not either something ignored, see the link?
Donald, spent a lot of time with Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), he’s nice to him, offers him toys, is present any time the boy needs him. But one day, Donald, in tears, smelling alcohol, asked Sister James (Amy Adams), if he was allowed to go home. Suspicious enough, she went to talk to Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) and share her concerns, and this one directly doubted sexual abuse. Donald is a lonely child, who will he complained to? His father is a beast and his mother, afraid of scandals could only weep. It was time to act.
The whole movie balances whether Father Flynn touched Donald or not. Everything is based on assumptions, on doubts. Nothing is really said, or confessed, it is about all those weird and suspicious elements given to us spectators and to the nuns, that shaped and built our statement or belief. But are we sure it is true? Do we have proof? And until the end, it stays blurry.
Doubt gathers a finically chosen cast, with Meryl Streep as a strict and severe nun, Amy Adams as the naive, and kind one, Philip Seymour Hoffman as the beloved priest of a catholic school, and not to forget Viola Davis the mother of the only black child in the school. I believe the strength of the movie sets among those actors, and their striking performances.
The camera is well used with this sneaky but not to much of a nose she has, and even the way lights have this indisputable, important role in the film, and in a scene in particular when Sister Aloysius interrogate Father Flynn. Thus, this is what I consider a truly mastered scenario, because, to be able to deal this great with technical things, you have to perfectly conceptualize your scenario. Director John Patrick Shanley wrote and known his script and known how he wanted the movie to affect people, and play with their mind. He knew that doubt is a feeling that has tendency to gnaw us from the inside, burn us, and drive us mad. Sister Aloysius was convinced Father Flynn was guilty. She was so convinced, that she could only think about that, and about how she will get that priest out of the school. I felt confused, because a part of me wanted that priest beaten to death (or just judged), and another part of me, was uncomfortable not having any concrete proof of that accusation. Now what was the right thing to do? Better be careful I would say, even though it implied messing with someone’s professional life.
And I would like to add that, sometimes we also truly want something to be not true, we block our mind into reject thoughts or even proof that we could have concerning a topic, but we don’t want it to be real. Doubt is a good movie, dealing with a hot issue, and with a real psychological approach.