Doubt shanley essay topics
Hoffman has the more complex role to play — perhaps hero, perhaps villain, he moves from endearing kindness to righteous indignation to something that is finally quite ambiguous is it repose, or guilt? In translating it to the screen, Shanley has tried to open it up with some distracting visual flair. So a sermon about gossip gets literalized in a flurry of falling feathers, and overhead shots, canted frames, and high and low angles proliferate.
It was a great play, and it is a fine film. Indeed, it may even win Oscars whatever that may be worth. Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news!
The Play's the Thing: John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"
Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. This Article is related to: Reviews and tagged In Theaters. Back to IndieWire. From an aesthetic perspective, the movie beautifully captures a particular place and time.
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The setting in the Bronx brings a working class, blue-collar Catholic subculture to the fore. Lighting and seasonal changes further enhance the stark and grim circumstances of the story as the plot progresses. The seasons progress toward winter until the final scene takes place in a snowy courtyard. The setting underscores the turbulence of Catholic life in the mids in convincing fashion. Added to the effective setting is superb characterization.
Weighing Doubt: One Playwright’s Measured Look at the Crisis in the Catholic Church
The movie lives up to its multiple Oscar nominations. Meryl Streep is eerily convincing as the strict disciplinarian and principal of the Catholic school. Her character is absolutely terrifying as she hisses her reproach to a young boy in church near the beginning of the film. Streep convinces the viewer that whatever her motives might be for charging Father Flynn with misconduct, she is at least partly concerned that children not be harmed.
Doubt by John Patrick Shanley essays
However, Sister Aloysius is overly zealous in her vendetta against Father Flynn, and it is this unrelenting attack, based on little evidence, that raises the specter that Sister Aloysius has some experience with abuse in her past. At one point she admits to Father Flynn with pained expression that she has some sin in her past but that she has confessed and been forgiven.
Father Flynn is charismatic, popular, and sensitive. In a conversation with Sister James, Flynn accuses Sister Aloysius of sacrificing kindness for the sake of virtue.
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Flynn develops as a sympathetic character, and the viewer is caught between believing in his innocence and being horrified by his alleged crimes. Finally, Amy Adams delivers a stunning portrayal of Sister James. She captures the kindness and innocence of the young nun without sacrificing believability.
James is caught in the middle of a contest of wills, and she negotiates the difficult terrain with honesty and goodness.
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By the end of the film, it is James who has become the strong character. Is it doubt in her God? The viewer is not told. Doubt , the movie, was written originally as a play, adapted to a screenplay, and directed by the same person, John Patrick Shanley. It is no surprise then, that this film has a singleness of vision and purpose.
The film is entertaining, engaging, original, humorous, and disturbing, thus defying easy categories. And the film is ambitious, taking as it does the question of faith—does faith arise from certainty or doubt—is faith destroyed by certainty or doubt? The viewer comes away with no easy answers, and that is, after all, the point of the film.
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