DVD: Doubt (15)
Friday 03 July 2009
Set in early 1960s New York, this is a sombre account of a priest accused of child abuse who is hounded out of his parish by Sister Aloysius Beauvier (Meryl Streep), the dragon-like headmistress of the local Catholic school.
She is convinced that Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is coming on too strong with one of her charges, the school's first black student. The movie comes to a head with a dramatic and highly emotional spat between the two central characters, which is unfortunately set against the rather hammy backdrop of thunder and lightning. In spite of this, you can't help being won over by Hoffman in an unnervingly creepy role, as well as the newcomer Amy Adams, who picked up an Oscar nomination for her part as Sister James.
While Streep is blessed with some of the most poetic lines of what turns out to be a beautiful script, you just can't escape from the feeling that she's trying a little too hard. Extras include a set of thought-provoking interviews with the Sisters of Charity, the order of nuns depicted in the film, and the real Sister James (who is still alive). They give a sense of just how tumultuous this decade was for the Catholic church as it attempted to deal with the pressures of ground-breaking modernisation. But they also leave you wishing that the film had delved into these issues a little bit more deeply.
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Secret Cinema showed The Great Dictator at protest secret screening, following Sony's The Interview cancellation
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Angelina Jolie 'didn't eat much' in sympathy with actors who had to lose weight for Unbroken
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever