Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Wednesday, Jan 21 2009
With its bristling topicality, ritzy cast and Roger Deakins’s gracefully bleak cinematography, John Patrick Shanley’s adaptation of his 2005 play about an old-school Catholic nun in the early 1960s who goes after a priest she suspects of sexual abuse, is prime Oscar bait. In Shanley’s entertainingly callow hands, provocation passes for complexity, ushered in periodically by waves of premonitory winter weather that coats the Bronx parochial school where a timid young sister (Amy Adams), unnerved by what looks like unusually close contact between the school’s well-liked priest (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and its first black pupil, reports her misgivings to the school principal, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep). Before you can say independent inquiry, off goes the bonneted termagant to grind the machinery of blind justice. Though Shanley throws in some clues to enlarge our perceptions of nun and priest, Doubt is only marginally about moral uncertainty, which in any case he confuses with a preposterous moral relativism. It’s more about the sins of a nosy old biddy pulling out the stops when going through the official channels of a male-dominated Catholic Church would get her nowhere. Knowing what we know now, I was left wishing there had been more vigilant old bats around like Sister Aloysius to shield Catholic children from the predators within.
Starts: Jan. 23. Daily, 2009

About The Author

Ella Taylor


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


  • U2 @ SAP Center in San Jose
    Last night U2 performed the first U.S. date of it’s Innocence + Experience tour at SAP Center in San Jose. All four band members were present despite recent injuries sustained by both Bono and Edge. The sold out show took audience members on a walk down memory lane as the band revisited their roots. The innovative stage and lighting used gave the arena show an intimate feel, and engaged audience members in all sections of the venue. Photographs by Sugarwolf.
  • Bay to Breakers 2015 - NSFW
    The 103rd annual Bay to Breakers 12K race was packed on Sunday despite the cold weather. With a starting point a few blocks from The Embarcadero, people dressed as bananas, Elvis and everything in between ran west through the city and finished at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach.

    Photographs by Christopher Victorio.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular