Doubt: Catholic school drama centered around a Priest & Sister. Seymour–Hoffman plays the loose, cool, charismatic & liberal priest whose quest to modernise the school’s morals pits him against Meryl Streep – a fear-mongering strict traditionalist. Amy Adams is stuck in the middle. Essentially the entire film is based on the classic ‘old’ against ‘new’ face off, and nothing much else. The first 75 minutes are painfully slow then the lid gets blown off for around 10 minutes as the drama reaches meter-breaking levels… unfortunately it instantly chills after that, and remains calm ’til the end. Most of the direction was plain and simple, however there were a few skewed and angled shots that seemed very out of place, for reasons that were beyond me. The three aforementioned performances were absolutely stellar, unfortunately the film itself just couldn’t match it. 100% slow-burning, catholic-based feud – although my other half loved it
Yikes, a rating of “3”? I did not see that coming, but hey — opinions vary.
Me, I’m a fan of slow pacing, and I found the pacing in “Doubt” to be deliberate as opposed to “dull” or “boring.” The atmosphere was one of restrained tension, where we expect an explosion but don’t know when it’s coming.
We do agree that the performances are pretty well faultless. This is the best work Meryl Streep has ever done, and I’m fully willing to stand by that statement!
Wow. I actually really liked Doubt – but, as M. said, doctors differ. I can see how it might not have been everyone’s cop of tea, but I was quite happy with it. I just love that it was pretty much the four actors (every speaking role in the play got an Oscar nomination for the film, for the trivia hounds out there).
Slow-burning? Ah, now I see what it got the low rating! I’ll still give it a go due to the high praise which the main actors have received since its release :)
You know I’m saying it’s a breath of fresh air to see such a wretched review. The reason I’ve avoided seeing it is because in spite of the great performances acknowledged it looks BORING. I can deal with slow and methodical, but with purpose. So thanks and cheers!
M/Darren – I did ponder a lot over this rating but in the end the film just failed to engage me, especially because the first 70 minutes were based on soft-threats / insinuations / doubt etc. I don’t mind slow-paced flicks but felt that this could have been more dramatic without changing anything else. Not saying it’s a terrible film but the cast was the only real redeeming feature.
Rosin – yes, still check it out. It seems to be a love-hate film so wouldn’t deprive anyone of viewing it.
Heather – after the couple of podcasts I’d say our tastes were pretty synched so probably best give it a miss. Or skip to the dramatic 10 minutes and ignore the rest.
Streep and Hoffman elevated the material, certainly, but I don’t think it was anti-climactic.
Wasn’t the movie based on a play? Maybe that’s the main reason why it felt so slow (I personally loved its pacing). Maybe they simply wanted to honor that tradition.
For me, Viola Davis stole the show and even I have to admit that she managed to move me in such a way that the other actors on screen did not: I completely felt for her struggle concerning her son. While others were caught up in the politics of what was morally wrong or what was morally right, her conundrum was more on the gray area and that’s what made her fascinating.