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Doubt


August1991

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I didn't see the Broadway play but as I watched this movie, I kept wondering how this would have been done on stage. I had to admit that it would have worked better with live actors. The basic structure is like Equus or The Lesson and such hot drama translates badly to cinema (or so me thinks).

On reflection, the essential dilemma of Doubt was better and more sympathetically done in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (which also took place in a school). Perhaps novels translate better to cinema than theatre does. Because despite the title, Doubt is not really about doubt. (Doubt is a given in life.) Rather, I saw Doubt as a naive examination of why we have rules and when we should break them.

The movie, placed roughly in the Bronx in 1964, is ostensibly about a new, young priest and an older, traditional nun who accuses him indirectly of pedophelia. We never learn whether the priest is guilty or not and I found this aspect of the story dishonest. There is some very powerful acting, in particular when the older nun presents her suspicions to the young boy's mother.

Edited by August1991
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