I saw a fascinating movie the other night called “Doubt” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep. Set in 1964, Doubt centers around a nun who confronts a priest after suspecting him of abusing a black student. He denies the charges, there is no evidence. There are no witnesses. But for one, there is no doubt. What’s unique about this movie is that even we, as the audience never really know for sure.
The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Natalie Portman declined the role of Sister James eventually played by Amy Adams.
Oprah Winfrey reportedly lobbied for the role of Mrs. Miller, but director John Patrick Shanley refused to even give her a reading.
Viola Davis, who was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Mrs. Miller, in the film, is only in two scenes. The first is an extended dialogue with Meryl Streep’s character, Sister Aloysius. In the second, she appears only for about 10 seconds and does not speak.
Just as he did with the play, John Patrick Shanley only told the actor who played Father Flynn whether or not Flynn was guilty. None of the other actors knew.
If you get a chance watch it and tell me if you think he’s guilty or not, I still have doubts.