Film Fest Friday: Doubt

doubt_movie_poster_playing

I’ve always been fascinated by Catholicism, and I’m not exactly sure why. When I was a kid, I once read a 400-page tome about it, trying to satisfy some inexplicable curiosity about what exactly made Catholics so different from those of us who had Protestant upbringings when the basics really seem so similar. I think the conspiracy theorist in me finds the whole concept of the Vatican and the Pope et al to be very mysterious — don’t you wonder what they know? What they’re keeping from the masses (to protect us, of course)? What information is hidden in those vast catacombs? And the skeptic in me is fascinated by the utter willingness to believe in things that seem so impossible. My friend always says he should have been Catholic, because he feels inordinately guilty about just about everything that ever happens in his life. I say life is too short for all that negativity. With that being said, though…the most successfully manipulative people I’ve ever known have understood that guilt can convince people to do a lot of things they don’t want to do.

Doubt. Wow. Perfectly cast. Even though I really don’t care for Amy Adams, she worked in this role. This could be Meryl Streep’s best performance of all time. And Philip Seymour Hoffman — I can’t think of a single movie he wasn’t great in. Some of the criticisms I’ve read have mentioned that since this film was adapted from a play, it still “creaks of the stage.” I agree, but I consider that a positive. I really enjoy it when I see a movie that feels more like a play than a movie. I think that’s one mark of a good movie, and of good acting. It puts the focus back on the story and on the acting, and not on extraneous things like special effects. This is probably the literature buff in me talking. I loved the spareness of this film, visually and philosophically.

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1 Comment

  1. David said,

    April 24, 2009 at 7:36 am

    If you’re really interested in what Catholicism is all about, you should REALLY check it out. Don’t go for hearsay, go to the source.


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