“Doubt” is an adaptation of a play, set in a church-adjacent Catholic school amid the 1960s “Vatican II” shift from the old-guard church to the “progressive” version. It’s story principally involves a clash between Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep,) the hard-bitten ice-queen leader of the Nuns and principal of the school; and Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman,) the new young priest who gets under her skin with his newfangled compassion-focused sermons and staunchly Vatican II progressivism – a clash that takes a grim turn when novice Sister James (Amy Adams) confides in her superior her vauge suspicion that Flynn may have “behaved innapropriately” with an Altar Boy. Problem is, there’s exactly enough circumstantial evidence to make the accusation un-ignorable, but not enough to prove a single thing. Flynn is almost-certainly hiding something, Sister Aloysius is almost-certainly a semi-sociopath motivated at least in-part by a personal agenda, but the film has no intention whatsoever of letting you off easy as to what’s actually going on.
That much you know from the trailers, and any more than that oughtn’t be said. I’ll just add three quick points:
- It’s excellent, you should see it as soon as possible.
- Yes, I do have my own personal “guess” as to what the truth actually is, I’ll be happy to discuss it in the comments but not here on the main page because spoilers are uncool.
- Amy Adams in a nun’s habit makes me think terrible, terrible thoughts.