1

2

 

2

2

 

0

8

 

F

I

L

M

 

1

2

 

2

2

 

0

8

 

F

I

L

M

 

1

2

 

2

2

 

0

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

   
       
 

DOUBT

   
 

Undoubtedly Meryl!

   

 

  

 

Meryl Streep is a national treasure.  Such pleasure to watch her; there is an undercurrent of mischief in the twinkle in her eyes as if she is were having the time of her life and we are inevitably, inexorably, drawn into her world.  As Sister Aloysius, the principal of a boarding school in the Bronx, her acting in Doubt is a dramatic tour-de-force with every moue of expression, every intelligent glance of the eyes, every subtle twist of the mouth calibrated and honed to perfection.  Reinterpreting the role, she has taken it to dramatic extreme and there are shades here of her editrix in The Devil Wears Prada.  The movie is triangulated brilliantly, for she is not allowed to get away with it, to steal the show, and it is testament to both Philip Seymour Hoffman who plays Father Flynn and Amy Adams as Sister James that they balance out the equation and hold her in check.  Viola Davis as the mother of African-American student Donald (Joseph Foster II) is also remarkably good in her duet with Meryl Streep. 

Doubt centers around an old story - and a story worth talking about - the Catholic church and pedophilia.  The script revolves around the ambiguity of the relationship between Father Flynn and his student, Donald.  The word pedophilia is never mentioned - and to quote from Borges's appropriately titled The Garden of Forking Paths: "In a riddle whose answer is 'chess' what is the one word one is not allowed to use?" 

If John Patrick Shanley's film is about doubt in all its shades of gray, there is still a heightened consciousness of color in the production.  The nuns walk around in their costumes like Chanel dresses and as Shanley said, " . . . these people were dressed entirely in black with touches of white . . . so that you can take a bold color as a background and they will pop out of that environment the way the Dutch masters did in a Rembrandt rather than get lost in the background . . . ."  Based on his memories of his childhood Bronx, the exterior used is that of his childhood church school, but the interior is highly designed and constructed.  Shanley wanted something entirely different from the play, something fresh and new, and perhaps why the sets, the cast, and the interpretation is quite different from that of the award-winning Broadway production.

With all the talk of proof and certainty there is of course then the doubt about whether the story is in fact a metaphor for something much larger.  In a play whose answer is perhaps doubt in the very idea of the Church and the existence of God, what is that which one is not allowed to mention?  Insinuatingly clever . . . .

 

See: Doubt 

Written and directed by John Patrick Shanley; based on his play; director of photography, Roger Deakins; WITH: Meryl Streep (Sister Aloysius Beauvier), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Father Brendan Flynn), Amy Adams (Sister James), Viola Davis (Mrs. Miller), 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).

 

Tags:  film      theatre

 

Share:    

 

 

 

       
 

 
       
     

ARCHIVES    ART    LITERATURE    ARCHITECTURE    FILM    MUSIC    DANCE    PHOTOGRAPHY  DESIGN    FOOD    THEATRE    FASHION    TRAVEL

 

Subscribe About Us Editorial Policy Privacy Policy Contact Us Unsubscribe  

Press Archives Search  

 

 

2010 eCognoscente