Movies We've Just Watched discussion


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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen | 27 comments In my opinion, not a fun movie, but very well done and the actors and actress's definetely deserve their nominations. My husband and I walked out with entirely different viewpoints, but I think that is what is meant to happen....I did have my Doubts for sure. I could not see where anyone else had posted on this. Interested in your comments.

message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments i posted on it in "movies we just watched" - and there was some small discussion on it. i didn't especially like the film overall, but i did like the performances, especially the woman that played the mother of the boy who was ostracized. that scene with her and meryl streep was really powerful.

message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen | 27 comments Agreed...she has been nominated for best supporting actress and deserves it. You seem to have the same feeling for it as I do.

message 4: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Having been raised a Catholic and having attended both Catholic grade school and high school, I actually got quite a kick out of the story, before it touched on the more serious issues. Clearly, back when I was in grammer school, there was always a "sister" just like Meryl Streep. I think she played her character to the tee, right down to the accent; i'm also thrilled with the best supporting actress nod to the little boy's mother. And I agree that while the film wasn't all that, the performances were excellent.

message 5: by Phillip (last edited Jan 23, 2009 04:58PM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments streep's accent was impeccable in doubt. no big surprise there. that woman that played the boy's mother got a best supporting actress nomination? wow - maybe the academy is not completely lost after all.

message 6: by Diane (new)

Diane  (dianedj) did you not like her performance? Or did you mean to put in the word "not" before "completely"?

message 7: by Phillip (last edited Jan 23, 2009 04:59PM) (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments whooops! i corrected myself.

i loved her performance. it's the academy that needs an overhauling, imo.

message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) I found it odd that, having seen the play this summer and more recently the movie, I had different conclusions - I left the play feeling that the Mother Superior was wrong about the priest, but left the movie with mixed feelings ...

Then I took the play out from the library and my opinion changed once again - the priest is guilty.

message 9: by Karen (new)

Karen | 27 comments I disagree!!! But that is the way ny husband felt.

message 10: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) Karen wrote: "I disagree!!! But that is the way ny husband felt."

Karen, obviously I could be swayed, since between the play, the movie, and the written word, I had three different reactions. So, why do you feel that the priest is innocent?

message 11: by Karen (last edited Jan 23, 2009 09:53PM) (new)

Karen | 27 comments This might be considered a spoiler so don't read further if you don't want to know more. I think the priest was probably gay and had skeletons in his closet that he did not want to come out in a long drawn out trial that would involve hurting the boy and others. I think his motives with the boy were honorable and that he was a pure and decent man. Just because you are gay doesn't mean your are a pedifile. I think he felt empathy and love for the boy but not lust. What did you think Liz?

message 12: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) Karen wrote: "This might be considered a spoiler so don't read further if you don't want to know more. I think the priest was probably gay and had skeletons in his closet that he did not want to come out in a l..."

Working for a church and having a friend who is gay, I think you give a good argument; but I also live in Massachusetts where transferring a pedophile priest was common and still raises questions and "doubts".

message 13: by Karen (new)

Karen | 27 comments I guess that's why it's called "Doubt"....

message 14: by Diane (last edited Jan 25, 2009 08:30PM) (new)

Diane  (dianedj) Karen and Liz - I enjoyed reading your thoughts. Actually, Karen, I think you've made an excellent point here; one that never crossed my mind and I think it makes alot of sense. I couldn't quite understand SPOILER ALERT **** why he agreed to "go" if he had nothing to hide. Great analogy on your part especially keeping in mind the time period in which the movie was set.

message 15: by Kai (new)

Kai (ky02121) | 51 comments I'm still not sure what to think. I love films that leave you guessing.

message 16: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (starshinejen) Like Karen - my husband and I left with different opinions. My opinion was coloured by my experience at a Catholic school and also all the evidence here in Australia that abuse was a feature of Catholic schools. I think the doubt was so strong that it had to be acted on. The tragedy was/is that the matter could not be resolved in the public arena - thus avoiding future doubt, protecting the young and giving help to men who needed it.

message 17: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (starshinejen) By the way there was no doubt in my mind that Meryl Streep was wonderful in the role!

message 18: by Liz (new)

Liz (hissheep) Jenny wrote: "By the way there was no doubt in my mind that Meryl Streep was wonderful in the role!"


message 19: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 65 comments I thought the priest's lines were purposely made ambiguous in order to keep the audience guessing. In real life I think the priest would have been more definite in denying his guilt, whether he was guilty or not. So because of this, I think the writers were deliberately manipulating (or teasing) the audience. Therefore, I can't give the movie as high a rating as I'd like to, despite the excellent performances.

message 20: by TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (last edited Oct 01, 2009 10:25AM) (new)

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) Spoilers Below

I agree with you, Joy. I did love the movie, and had it not been for Sean Penn's excellent portrayal of Harvery Milk, I think Phillip Seymour Hoffmann should have gotten the Academy Award for Best Actor. I thought he was wonderful as the priest.

I love Meryl Streep and thought she did a better job than Kate Winslet in "The Reader." For me, a great movie performance isn't about being nude all the time. I realize I'm being picky and Winslet was good, but the excessive nudity in "The Reader" bothered me. I can't go to the theatre with my brother along to see movies like that. It's too embarrassing. Even my husband dislikes them.

And Viola Davis as the mother of the little boy was just superb. I thought she was so much better than Penelope Cruz in "VCB," but I think the Academy wanted to reward Cruz for "Volver" the year before when she was nominated for Best Actress.

I didn't see any signs at all that the priest in "Doubt" was gay. I would think they would have shown us something to indicate that, however ambiguous. But I did think him entirely innocent of child molestation.

Like Joy, I think any priest would have protested his innocence a LOT more, but really, the sour note in this film for me was Meryl Streep's character's seeming change of attitude at the very end. That line, "But, oh, Sister, I have such doubts!" just did not ring true to me. She was so adamant prior to that.

Still, I loved watching the film. One of my favorites of last year. It kind of reminded me of "The Children's Hour." How one person can destroy a life. An innocent life.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) Why? Why did you hate it so?

Amy Adams is the one I wasn't fond of. LOL

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) I'll admit, that last line didn't fit with the rest of the movie. I couldn't envision Meryl Streep's character actually saying that.

message 23: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments The last line is a real whopper. I didn't care for the film myself, and the conclusion topped it for me.

message 24: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10605 comments i can't stand amy adams. i have no idea how she stumbled into movies.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) I can't stand her in anything, Phillip. She doesn't seem to be a woman any director would choose, but she gets a lot of plum roles. I don't know how, either. She's kind of annoying to me.

message 26: by George (new)

George | 951 comments I thought the performances were fine, but I thought the play was more powerful live than the film itself. plus, I think there was much more doubt or ambiguity about the priest's actions in the play than the film. I suppose it's something of a question as to just what it is that Streep's character is doubtful about. I didn't think it was limited to whether the priest was guilty of abuse but rather something much more comprehensive. It's clear in the film, she's right about the priest, but what did her certainty on that really solve? what good does her rather sour bleak faith serve?

message 27: by Joy H. (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 65 comments Thank you to everyone for your interesting posts. Nice discussion.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) I've never seen the play, so I'm hampered that way. I would have liked more doubt and ambiguity in the movie.

message 29: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments Gabrielle, precisely why I LOL'ed at the final line. It felt tacked on and phony.

message 30: by Liz (new)

Liz (busy91) This movie was OK. I thought Streep was wonderful, Hoffman was OK. I have a special place for this movie ONLY because part of it took place right in my neighborhood in front of my building. Toward the end when they were walking in Parkchester. :)

This is the only reason I own this movie.

message 31: by TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (last edited Oct 02, 2009 09:51AM) (new)

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) Steve-O wrote: "Gabrielle, precisely why I LOL'ed at the final line. It felt tacked on and phony. "

It did. They really needed more doubt and ambiguity in the film. I don't know why they thought they could just tack on Streep's last line like that. They also needed to give us some indication that Streep was the kind of person who could feel the way she did regarding that last line. Previously, she'd been so driven to convict and condemn the priest, no matter what. I was a phony line, Steve-O. Completely. And it needn't have been.

message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim Cherry (jymwrite) George wrote: "I thought the performances were fine, but I thought the play was more powerful live than the film itself. plus, I think there was much more doubt or ambiguity about the priest's actions in the play..."

I agree! At the end I was wondering why she would have doubt since the priest didn't call her bluff, she would have had no doubt. I always thought the movie had to deviate somewhat from the play because at the end there's no reason for her to doubt.

message 33: by Jill (new)

Jill I thought the movie dragged. I did doubt that the priest had abused the boy but I agree that he did appear to be gay and maybe that is why he agreed to be moved. It sickened me a little to see a problem being solved by moving him somewhere else so that if he was guilty he would still be able to continue his behavior. Also, the contrast between how the nuns took their meals and how the men ate really bothered me. Why do nuns seem to get such a worse end of the deal with the Catholic church?

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) I didn't really think it dragged, Jill, but like you, I did doubt that the priest was guilty. And while there was no overt indication that he was gay, I, at least, got that impression.

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