After a long work week, I often prefer to watch something fast-paced and not too challenging, but when I’m in the right mood, a film driven by stellar acting and brilliant dialogue can be so much more rewarding.
Case in point: Doubt, which addresses such heavy topics as suspicion, tolerance, authority, religion, hypocrisy and crisis of faith. And on top of all that it also manages to interweave dimensions of gender, race, and sexuality, without seeming forced. Now, that is true directorial craftsmanship!
Of course, with actors like Meryl Streep and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman you can never go wrong, but Amy Adams is fantastic as well. Together, they make up a triangle of antagonistic personalities, each one of them both likeable and unlikeable at the same time, regardless of where you might position yourself morally. Especially wonderful is the sharp contrast between Sister James (Adams) and Sister Aloysius (Streep): the one optimistic and determined to believe in the good of people, thereby perhaps perpetuating wrongdoing; the other deeply suspicious and with strong convictions, at the expense of seeing the full picture and having an open mind.
Doubt – the title captures the essence of this movie, which is laden with tension, symbolism and mystery. But don’t expect a big, satisfying revelation. The ending will leave you disturbed and at a loss. In my book, that’s always a good thing. To say it with the words of Sister Aloysius: “Maybe we’re not supposed to sleep so well.”