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Movie Review: Doubt

Alternate Title: Did He or Didn't He

Story: You may have thought you have seen or read enough about scandals involving Catholic priests but allow yourself one more indulgence and go to see this wonderful film, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, based on his award winning play.

I saw the play on Broadway and liked the movie even more. The story is simple but the truth is complex. It takes place in the Bronx, 1964 when Vatican II was encouraging Priests to move their parishes forward into the 20th century - in essence making them more user friendly.

Father Flynn is accused of inappropriate behavior with a 12 year old boy by a traditional old school nun, Sister Aloysius. She has no proof, but she has her certainty. She sees sin under every rock, behind every action. Young, idealistic Sister James is caught in the middle of this two character storm.

Does the truth get revealed? Is justice served? Will you be a part of deciding the outcome of this drama? I won't tell you much more but I will tell you to go see this engrossing cinematic experience - there is much to think about.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hpa37qaOp80

Acting: The acting across the board is sensational. Meryl Streep inhabits the body and soul of Sister Aloysius Beauvier and will surely get award nods. It allows me to forgive her for the most awful 'Mamma Mia.' Philip Seymour Hoffman as Father Brendan Flynn is probably one of the only actors who can stand up to Streep's acting - and he does. Amy Adams as the young Sister James, is perfect for the role. Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller, the boy in questions' Mother is fabulous. The rest of the cast works well too including, Joseph Foster II (Donald Miller), Alice Drummond (Sister Veronica), Audrie Neenan (Sister Raymond), Susan Blommaert (Mrs. Carson), Carrie Preston (Christine Hurley) and John Costelloe (Warren Hurley).

Trivia: John Patrick Shanley's play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, the 2004-2005 Drama Desk Award and the 2005 Tony Award. Actor Amy Adams was born in Italy to American parents at a time when her father was a U.S. serviceman stationed in the country but was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado. Viola Davis won the 2001 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for the August Wilson's"King Hedley II". As of 2008, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dustin Hoffman are the only two winners of best actor in a leading role at the Oscars to share a last name. Philip won for 'Capote' and Dustin won for 'Kramer vs. Kramer' and 'Rain Man'. Meryl Streep currently holds the record for most Oscar nominations for acting (14 total), including both actors and actresses.

Predilection: I liked the play and like to watch great acting.

Critters: A crow, pigeons, a dead mouse and a working cat.

Food: The Nuns eat gristly meat, bland veggies and boiled potatoes while the Priests eat luscious rare roast beef and drink wine.

Sex Spectrum: Inappropriate behavior is alluded to - but nothing is ever shown.

Blatant Product Placement: None, but the Catholic Church does not come out looking that good.

Opening Titles: Simple type over a sequence showing us the neighborhood, parishioners and the lead up to a sermon.

Visual Art: A nice job of recreating the times.

Theater Audience: Crowded for an early show on opening weekend Sunday.

Weather: Chilly, windy pre-Christmas time.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The subject is very squirmy.

Drift Factor: I was riveted throughout and did not look at my watch once.

Predictability Level: I saw the play and knew what would be happening.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes.

Nit Picking: My only gripe was the occasional annoying angle of the camera. Some scenes are shot on an angle. I am not sure why that choice was made.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen

Length: Under two hours.