Doubt

I’m not Catholic, but I certainly could be if I really wanted to.  Certain branches of my family are Catholic, so I’ve been to Mass and some Catholic funerals and weddings.  Although I’m sure the steps for an apostate Protestant like me to get there would be prohibitive, I have still always been interested in the priesthood.  That’s kind of a crazy thing to say, but I feel it’s true.  Now there’s a movie which shows a look inside the Catholic world in New York back in the early Sixties and it’s ready on DVD now.

Starting this April 7th, now available on DVD from Buena Vista Studios Home Entertainment and Miramax Films comes one of the most talked about movies of last year.  Doubt is ready to come flowing out of your television screen and bring a world of religion and hidden things into your living room.  Bring home this modern classic that was one of the most celebrated movies of last year.

It’s 1964 in the Bronx and it’s just another school day at St. Nicholas Church.  Father Brendan Flynn is in charge of the church and he embodies the progressive ideas and sweeping personalities that would soon have their day at the Second Vatican Council.  Yet the school is still run by the strict hand of Sister Aloysius Beauvier, the consummate old-school nun.  Stuck in the middle of these two is the young and impressionable Sister James, a new nun who loves teaching the children and admires Father Flynn, yet still feels compelled to follow the example of Sister Aloysius.  Then there’s the new student, the first African-American at St. Nicholas, Donald Miller.  Sister Aloysius becomes convinced that something inappropriate is going on in between Father Flynn and the young Donald Miller.  Sister James is devastated by this news, yet eventually grows to believe that he is in fact innocent.  Sister Aloysius is not convinced, but how far will she go in her quest for the truth?  This movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Meryl Streep and Viola Davis and is based off of the Pulitzer Prize winning play by John Patrick Shanley of the same name.

The special features included in this DVD are an optional audio commentary from writer and director John Patrick Shanley, a conversation about the film with actors Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis, a look at how John Patrick Shanley worked to ensure the portrayal of the nuns was accurate, a featurette about musician Howard Shore and his work in scoring this film and a very in-depth look at moving this story from the stage to the big screen from playwright, writer and director John Patrick Shanley.

I was excited to see this movie, but never managed to catch it in theaters.  I knew it would good, mainly because I adore Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, but I did not know it would be this great.  Meryl Streep deserved to win for her portrayal of Sister Aloysius because that is the most convincing and meanest nun I have ever seen in my life.  Hoffman, being one of the greatest actors alive, was great in his morally neutral role.  And Amy Adams, even when dressed in her severe nun’s habit, was still one of the most attractive people I’ve ever seen.  It would have been torture to have her be one of my teachers at that age.  This movie was a tremendous look at faith and doubt and just what certainty we can have in this life.  It’s a film that everyone should see and they owe it to themselves to do just that.

No Doubt about it, this movie is fantastic!

This DVD is available at Amazon.com.

Nathaniel Jonet – Follow me on Twitter

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