54. Ninja Assassin: B
55. Mr&Mrs. Smith: A-
56. Silver Linings Playbook: A-
57. Man of Steel: B+
58. Doubt: A
I found this to be a well done film. Apparently it was written for the stage based on what the opening credits said and it is largely a 3 person play. With the students of the Catholic school and others really a glorified chorus.
It stars Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I had to hit IMDB for the spelling of Streep's name. Sister Beaver was how it sounded many times and that just is so clearly wrong. Sister Beauvier is a very rigid by the book old school Nun, Principal of the school, who is very sure of herself, convictions and piety. Adams, is Sister James, a younger nun who teaches History at the school and is unsure if something is a foot with PSH Priest, Father Flynn and the schools first negro student. An inappropriate relationship is formulated and alleged by Sister Beauvier after the student returns from the Rectory with the smell of wine on his breath.
Father Flynn defends himself and denies the allegations of Sister Beauvier. Sister James is ready and eager to accept the explanation of events as Flynn describes them. No harm, no foul...we were wrong. Sister Beauvier will not hear of it, she is convinced The Father is lying....because her own inner convictions say so. No proof, none at all to the contrary of The Father's explanation.
The film is weaved with themes of a sermon on Doubt, to start the film. The idea of intolerance plays two fold. One for Sister Beauvier and the other in the the explanation of how 60's era kids would be cruel to the only negro student, thus Father Flynn was showing him extra care to keep his esteem high + his father beat him. Flynn felt he needed the nurturing, which Beauvier saw as more than that on a level encroaching inappropriate.
In lieu of the Catholic pedophile scandals the past decade it's easy watching this film to want to instantly side with Sister Beauvier. When Father Flynn explains how her interpretation is wrong you do kinda want to think he's lying but the Sister James in many of us also wants to say, "see, all worked up for nothing".
The best parallel I can think of his when a woman would falsely cry RAPE and alter a man's path. His work, social life, it all changes once that is accused, true or not. This has been documented to happen. Sister Beauvier threatens Father Flynn and rather than fight her on it, despite saying call my other parishes they can vouch for me, he puts in for a transfer. It's here Beauvier lies(shock, gasp) and says she did and got troubling reports. Says this is your 3rd Parish in 5yrs, wonder why, what are you hiding. In the end Father Flynn lands at a Parish with a position that is essentially a promotion. The film ends with Beauvier confessing her doubt and lies to Sister James. A very solid film.