Doubt

Before I describe in some detail why I disliked this film (which I guess should have a spoiler warning!!)  I should say some points in its favour. It is very well acted by everyone in the cast. There isn’t a single weak performance, though I found Amy Adams did slowly more unbelievable the more of her you saw. It is also fairly well directed which is why I can understand why it is up for awards, however I won’t be watching it ever again.

This is because I was bored. Really quite bored for the majority of the film. Obviously with a title like Doubt you expect uncertainty and unfinished business, but that kind of thing needs to be done very carefully and this just didn’t balance it well enough. As Mark Kermode pointed out in his review, the level of doubt shown in this film isn’t really particularly high. Quite soon in the film the main area of doubt is brought to light and, while there is no real proof either way, it seems quite obvious which side is right, and from then on the film seems to be more about a search for evidence. Fair enough you say, that’s often how detective stories run, but rarely in detective stories do they tell you in the title that the case won’t be solved!

Also for a film called Doubt and set in a religious setting there was basically no religious content. I’m not asking for evangelism or anything like that but doubt in a religious context can give a really powerful story on a human level. As it was there was basically no Christian content above being nice to people, and it portrayed Catholics as belonging to basically 3 groups. People who go to mass but don’t care otherwise, people who are anti-women and potentially homosexually kiddie fiddlers and people who believe all modern inventions are evil and that are so stuck in tradition that they won’t help others in danger except through the rigid channels provided by the church. Now there probably are these people in the church, particularly of the first catagory, but not a single character in this film, with the exception of Amy Adams, was likeable, and even Amy was all wishy-washy, ‘everyone’s nice really’.

Basically, if you’ve seen the trailer you know about the story, and unless you have an interest in behind the scenes life in a 1950’s American convent school I can think of little reason in the story to watch this film. Phillip Seymour Hoffmann is brilliant as always and the others no doubt deserve their nominations for awards, I only wish they could have been in a more interesting film.

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One Response to “Doubt”

  1. Dan Says:

    None of the performances were good in Doubt
    Meryl was the least believable of all of them

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