Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Matinee By Any Other Name.... still a Friday Matinee if you are at Grandma J's, no DOUBT.

That's what I went to see, Doubt. I really thought this movie had slipped through my fingers like so many others have. I never saw The Queen, or The Other Boleyn Girl..... and I don't do movies at home. It's sad, I know. Anyway, when I saw that it was playing nearby, I put everything else on the back burner, and went to see and one couple. Seriously, don't people go to movies anymore?
Doubt is a very powerful movie about the quest for truth and the consequences of blind justice based on one persons strict moral convictions.

Meryl Streep plays the principal, sister Aloysius, at St Nicholas Catholic School in the Bronx in 1964. She believes in the the power of fear and discipline, and sets off on a crusade to prevent and stifle change amongst the students, sisters (teachers) and especially Father Flynn, a vibrant charismatic priest played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

When Sister James, a sweet young innocent teacher, played by Amy Adams, shares with Sister Aloysius her suspicion that Father Flynn is paying too much personal attention to one of the students, Sister Aloysius sets off on a personal crusade to destroy Father Flynn. Without a shard of proof besides her own moral certainty, Sister Aloysius locks into a battle of wills with Father Flynn which threatens to tear apart the community with irrevocable consequence.

Doubt was very realistic in recreating the parochial school environment as I remember it. Standing whenever an adult entered the classroom, the insistence on using pens that required ink wells and blotters, and the strict discipline....and not necessarily a bad thing.
I recommend this movie by giving it five out of five confessionals


Pumpkin Delight said...

Really!?!? I have been debating whether to see it or not. The subject matter is not something I thought I wanted to see a movie about, but it's getting such good reviews (including yours). I might have to go next week.

Grandma J said...

Pumpkin, and others, I hesitated to bring up the subject matter of sexual abuse in the Church because I didn't want to spoil any aspect of this movie. Let me say this right up is not about sexual abuse. Most of my reviews are purposely vague, because I read too many review that spoil the whole movie experience for me, and I don't want to do that.

Busy Bee Suz said...

I barely even heard about this one....sounds good though.
You have to rent "The Other Boylan girl"
My girls and I watched 2x over one weekend...really, really good!!!!
I give it 5 be-headings.
or is it de-headings?
what know what I mean. :)

The Incredible Woody said...

I'm one of those people that never go to the movies anymore. Too cheap because when I do go, I have to have popcorn and they charge like $20 for that!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - Sounds like a winner. I'll probably see it five years from now when I get around to renting it. I also went to a school, though not a Catholic school, where you had to stand when the teacher entered the room. There were never discipline problems because there were clear cut rules and everyone was expected to follow them. I actually liked it.

I've seen the ads for this movie and wondered about it. If I ever get out to see one, I"ll add this to my already growing list (all the others are from ones you've reviewed too).

Anonymous said...

I saw Doubt this weekend too. I went kicking and screaming, but I liked it more that I thought I would.


Katrine said...

I thought this movie looked good. I'm going because you gave it so many confessionals!

Big Hair Envy said...

Has this movie even been advertised? I know that I haven't seen much television over the past two weeks, but I've never even HEARD of this one! OK. I live under a rock!!

I must confess, I am one of THOSE people who doesn't go to the movies any more. The theatre is 45 minutes away, and we won't even discuss the cost of the movie & popcorn (which I may no longer consume)..... How long until it comes out on DVD?? :)

sista #2 said...

I dont go to the movies....cant sit still....have to pee alot.

I am way behind on movie watching......sista #1 got me to watch Momma Mia....twice. Loved it.

Happy New Year!!!

heartshapedhedges said...

Grandma J....
I went and saw this movie tonight, and it absolutely did have to do with child sexual abuse, or the accusation thereof.
I think the case was made for both sides (you said there was no shred of proof)...and while it wasnt proven, there was a lot of circumstantial evidence.
In any case, the movie ending circles back to the title, Doubt, because what really happened is never made certain.
I do recommend it, unless of course, you are the sort to sit and perseverate over things, mulling them in your mind, needing to know what really happened...then you might want to pass.

Grandma J said...

REBUTTAL to HSH. The movie NEVER says what Father Flynn is suspected of. Just that he seems too friendly towards the schools first and only black boy, who it turns out was beaten by his father, because he was called to the rectory out of class and had alcohol on his breath when he returned. It was right for Sister James to bring her suspicions to the attention of Sister Aloysius, but as it turned out, the boy had taken the wine on the sly. The rest is a matter of what your mind it did for Sister Aloysius. Sister Aloysius' doubt was her own, and how it ruined lives, not about Father Flynn.

heartshapedhedges said...

Well...she does mention, "improper relations" and Sister James confronts Father Flynn about having the boys shirt (something she never even tells Sister Aloysius). When Sister Aloysius talks to the mother, she is very clear about "improper relations" and the mother then mentions the boys "nature", it's not a matter of what my mind does...they are clearly speaking about child sexual abuse. How you add about the circumstances, and the conclusion you draw, is up to your own mind, but you were incorrect to state that it wasnt about child sexual abuse, because that it exactly what the "doubt" refers to in this movie.

Grandma J said...

Sister A. loves getting others to DOUBT their own Sister James and the boy's mother. By his nature, she was insinuating that the boy was gay, which clearly upset the mother who didn't want to hear any of it. Sister A is very good at scaring people. But then the movie is called Doubt, and I guess everyone can read whatever they want into it. I call it jumping to conclusions too.