Friday, January 02, 2009
A master class in acting. Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis are all superb in the film adaption of the John Patrick Shanley play, "Doubt".
Mr. Shanley wrote the screenplay and directed the film himself. Unlike "Frost/Nixon", which opened the stage play up quite a bit while still maintaining the intimacy of the conversations, Shanley opts to keep the action pretty much confined to the church and it's adjoining school. The film is powerful but is viewed like a filmed play. We only get a few glimpse's of life beyond the church and school grounds.
The scenes between the principle actors are all volatile and riveting. Ms. Streep is just a wonder taking on the persona of Sister Aloysius, the school principal who accuses Father Flynn of a very inappropriate act with one of the male students. Viola Davis has but one major scene but she too is excellent as the boy's mother in a confrontation with the Sister.
Regardless of your religious background, "Doubt" is a universal story about the ramifications of accusation and the aftermath of all involved.