I have many goals for 2009, one of which is to see at least 2 movies a month (would love to see one weekly, but not sure if that is feasible).
I saw the first one yesterday...Doubt, which stars Meryl Streep, Philip Seymore Hoffman and Amy Adams.
The movie (previously a play) is set in the Bronx in 1964 at St. Nicholas Catholic school. Meryl Streep plays Sister Aloysius Beauvier, a VERY strict and disciplined nun and Principal of the school. The kids fear her and she is very quick to slap a child on the back of the head if they are not sitting up straight.
Amy Adams portrays Sister James, a young nun who is a fairly new history teacher at the school.
Philip Seymore Hoffman portrays Father Flynn, tries to bring some relaxation to the school - much to the dismay of Sister Aloysius The school has just accepted its first black student, Donald Miller. Father Flynn knows that in 1964, this student is bound to be harrassed so he decides to befriend him.
Sister Aloysius suspects something is not quite right with the relationship between the priest and the student so ask Sister James to "keep and eye out". When Sister James notices some unusual behavior from Donald, she reports it to the stern principal. Sister Aloysius begin a search for the truth and works to expose the priest, even though she has no proof or evidence except her moral certainty. The priest denies the charges but she has no doubt he is guilty. The two battle it out.
In the end, it is really left up to the viewer to decided. He is the kind of person you want to believe and his explanations seem plausible, but you believe the nun has strong reasons to believe in his guilt. I saw this movie with 2 other people. Two of us thought he was guilty, one of us didn't think so.
I recommend this movie - great story and really keeps you waiting to see what will happen next.