MOVIES: "Doubt" (contains spoilers)

I was watching the new “Christmas” movies coming out this season, this one caught my eye because it’s about a Catholic church in the 60’s. It was based on a critcally acclaimed play but they changed the end a bit and they show more things.
I am disapointed that it’s another “did the priest molest the boy” movie, especially this time of year, but I realize that movies aren’t made for us and they have the right to do it. We also have the right not to see it, although the performances are supposed to be great.
I wish the church didn’t give the film/play makers so much material, but that is what brings people in…I will probably not see it, at least at the movies, but I hope for a more heart-warming, loving film to go too.

Wow, I never heard of this movie, but I also, probably won’t see it. I seriously doubt (excuse my pun) that many people will line up to see this, especially if released during the holiday. We can all use more uplifting and inspirational films right now…

I agree…no matter how well acted, no matter how much it might make you think about accusations, truth and what’s “right and wrong”, it’s not the right season for that.
Let’s hope for a nice, “feel-good” movie.

Is it anti-religious or “JUST” anti-Catholic? Since the whole movie is about doubt, it may have a bigger theme than just “did the priest do this…?”.

The play was different, it left “doubt”, you never saw the boy…the movie, being a movie, shows more, tells more and from what I hear, doesn’t leave much doubt. There are quite a few reviews out, more will come I’m sure where you can get a jist of it.
Some say the nun (Meryl Streep) isn’t likable, some say she is, but again, it tries to show how accusations can grow.

What I don’t like is that in the movie, the mother of the boy seems not to care, thinks her son might have homosexual tendencies so it’s not “totally anyones fault”, but that to me muddies the water.
I think anything with a priest in question would be considered by some to be “anti” but again, to be fair, if all we had was “Bells of St.Mary’s”, that wouldn’t be a true dispiction either. It’s just that we always have one end or the other…can’t we have something “real” but not corny or torrid??

I hate when others demonize the church, but we are (other than orthodox jews) one of the easiest marks, we have the toughest rules, the “drama” of the church and the hierarchy, the pomp and circumstance with the dress and holy days, etc.; it lends itself to that type of story and you have to be fair, as other religious have said, we did give them fodder…
One older play review:

I’m actually going to see this movie. It doesn’t strike me as anti catholic, and from what I saw on the preview, I don’t think the Priest is the bad guy, I think the nun is.
Besides, it is the churches fault that their such an easy target as far as this subject matter. I’m proud to be catholic, but I’m not so rpoud as to turn a blind eye on the church covering up rape.

Truth. I think the Nun is actually the good guy, it’s amazing how fast Catholics and other Christians are to put on there victim hates instead of checking to be sure.

But hey why concern oneself with finding the truth of a thing when we can cry persecution and thus not have to ask ourselves some hard questions am I right?

When I saw the commercial for this movie, I was in doubt what was going on and who was the bad guy. I think it was imdb that said it’s about a priest who abuses a black boy. They used the word ‘abused.’ Not ‘molested,’ so, for all it says, I still wasn’t sure if they meant sexual or racially.

You are missing the big picture. whether the movie make the priest or the nun, no matter what, its going to be a catholic who is the bad guy. The last movie I saw where a catholic (or some sort of christian) was a good guy, was Doom. and they killed that guy off.
Any way, Its probably the Priest. Ive seen that actor before. He plays a really convincing bad guy in his other apperences.
When will people be able to see other people as being Human, free will inevitably leads to mistakes.

There’s a good article about the director of the play in the NY Times today…he talks about “Doubt” the play and some of his past. He was a former Marine and born of Irish Immigrant parents in the Bronx. The also went to RC grade school.
He was worried about going from a play to screen, but hopes his dipiction will show well. You see his old neighborhood in detail, the people going to church and sitting attentively to Fr. Flynn’s words.One thing he says that doesn’t change from play to movie is the audience still lands on the sidewalk afterward with a head full of questions. “You can’t know exactly what is going on with your neighbor or his head or his heart. " You make suppositions, you make assumptions, but you never really know. " (I agree with that, been surprised many times)
He said for years that the play was about the experience of another he knew, but today he said, “When I was a kid, I had a guy who championed me and got me through school with a good education. He was a predator and he didn’t just prey on me” A few years ago, he received a letter from the man who was dying and wanted to see me. I didn’t go because he found out for certain he had preyed on children since that time. I could value what he did for me, but honor him, no.”

After reading this (and there was more) I took a kinder look at it…again I wish it wasn’t Christmas season, but maybe I’ll see it one day on DVD or I’d like to see the play. This isn’t a tawdry “Law and Order” about sex and a priest with all the sexual scenes, but a study also on “what you know” what you think you know" and how one person can change your life in many way, good and bad.

I would like to hear some truly Catholic reviews about this film. Probably not going to see it. I imagine it sheds a horrible light on Catholicism as usual. :frowning:

You have to remember that for some movies this isn’t the Christmas season, it’s the Oscar season. Thats most likely why their releasing it right now, to get it as close to the Oscars as possible.
I’m a super devout Catholic, but I fully admit that the catholic church has done some terrible things. Covering up the sexual abuse of children is about as terrible a thing as any religion could do. I’m sure Christ frowned upon the church at that time. So, I cannot get mad at the media that talks about it. It’s not something that can just be swept under the rug and forgotten. People shouldn’t forget it, they should remember it, and by remembering it I hope the church learns from this huge mistake.

I agree…hiding anything has to stop. That said, I wish they would highlight a priest that helps youth or others and his life, now or in the past, but that might have to be a low-budget production (like Bella) for now.
You can’t hate the movie for showing something that happened and showing how doubt can hurt sometimes, whether or not something happened. Doubt will prodominate priestly actions for awhile because of what happened and is STILL happening! I read about it still in parish’s and colleges. (St. John’s recently)
They will show movies of cults or evangelicals, other Christian religions don’t do anything really to have enough fodder for a movie. Jews sometimes complain about the orthodox shown in bad light, but overall, being Catholic, we generate enough interest for everyone.:rolleyes:
Things go in cycles, we might never have "The Bells of St. Mary’s"
again, but maybe more realistic good Catholic movies in the future.
For now, you can hate the movie/play, but it doesn’t make up anything that hasn’t been done already. And it isn’t there to tantilize, but a more intelligent view of it in thought, not sexual scenes which I would really boycott.

Ya know, I’m really getting tired of the media talking and making movies about the Catholic Church; in a BAD light! Yeah, there’s problems in our church, but there’s problems in Protestant churches as well. Why don’t we see movies about them? The Church has already admitted its mistakes! What more do the people want from it? The Pope’s apologized for crying out loud. There are far too many good things about the Catholic Church than there are bad. Why doesn’t the media and the population in general focus on that for awhile? Give me a break!! :mad:

Mom4trluth, what horrible things have other groups done, Methodist, Baptist, etc.? Believe me, every minister that sinned with a male or female partner or senator, has been on any TV show that would fit and that’s always been at the movies. No sinner is ever spared it seems.

I am a “revert”, so ,more passionate than some Catholics, but we are an easy target. We have the strictest rules in Christian religions (or close to it) we have a lot of heirarchy, a lot of money, a lot of pomp and circumstance. It is easy to single us out overall, but the church made it easier with the scandals. I don’t think most people understand how bad it was…not our spin, but the truth. Look at sites devoted to it, the numbers are astonishing and these are just the ones we know about or who haven’t died. It wasn’t just the crime, it was how long it went on…DECADES!
We had some in my neighborhood, my aunts neighborhood, people they trusted, some they always were suspicious of. This wasn’t a small matter and it’s hard to say “trust us” when the bishops on up, betrayed that trust. We know how many good priests there are, but you can’t tell others,especially non-Catholics “It’s all better now”. That takes time.
I was somewhat shocked to her Fr. Mitch on EWTN last Spring say, " That’ all done now" when speaking of the scandals…it’s not. They don’t make the headlines as much, the big headlines, it’s “old news” but locally you do see it.
I love being Catholic, but I will always resent the stain others brought…it was their job to evangelize, to be an example, not cause people to distrust and be afraid.
We will survive, but to complain about Catholic bashing you have to ask yourself, “why would they ignore it?”

To me, it sounds like the kind of story that’s meant to make the viewer think about what’s going on and draw their own conclusions, much like jurors in a court trial. The problem is, so many people have forgot the art of Critical Thinking that they just passively view it and settle on the first conclusion that comes to mind, which given the animus against the Church because of the clergy abuse scandals, is “Catlick preests r TEH EVOL!!1111”

In a similar vein, it’s just as easy to scream “OMG PRESECKYOOSHUN!!111” at the least provocation, rather than approach a dark-colored story with an open mind, and that’s just as bad, since it makes us look like just as inane and petty as those teenybopper Wiccans who scream about how everyone who looks at them wierd is trying bring back “teh BURNING TYMEZ!!!11” just because someone looked at their pentacle necklace odd. I can’t stand those types, nor can a good friend of mine who’s Wiccan.


I’m not saying we should ignore the evils of the Church, but it seems that many of the “liberals” of the country are doing the Catholic bashing and, frankly, I don’t think that many of them “see the light”! That’s their misfortune. I don’t believe that many Protestants have been interrogated, ostracized, ridiculed and the like, like Catholics. The reason we’re being singled out is because we are the True Church and DO HAVE the fullness of the faith. Being that as it may, it makes many people ticked off, perhaps jealous, even, that they are not a part of what we have. This may be a good thing. It may lead them to the true church. So, to that end, I’m tired of the film industry making accusation after accusation against my faith. I’m proud of it - flawed though it may be. It’s the people who have caused the flaws, not God. I just pray that the religious of our faith will stand strong in the Truth.

I do believe some people are jealous or “guilty” and want to bash our church, but I do know many that just think it’s wrong. We have too many rules, that drive them nuts and they feel the love of Jesus and the feeling of communion with him is lost. You will read scrupulous Catholics writing priests on EWTN worried they chewed the host and shouldn’t have, missed a holy day and are going to hell, ate meat during lent on Friday and feel like they are doomed…these are our rules, some man-made but they shouldn’t dominate the church. What leads some away is the welcoming atmosphere at some church’s close to Catholic but not quite (junior varsity my friend calls them) They make them feel wecome, aren’t “cliquey’ and they don’t feel like they are always doing something wrong.
What really ticked off some Catholics is after following the rules for so long, the ones giving them to them, failed so badly. When I read about priests that were so happy the scandals hit because they felt guilty knowing and not being able to tell. Some of it was because they couldn’t cause scandal if their superiour said No but others heard in confession and couldn’t tell.
As Fr. Corapi said, He carry’s the sins of his brothers on his shoulders” and will we for awhile…time heals, but if the story’s keep coming, I fear the general population will get tired and just not listen anymore. Only God’s grace will get us back and our church highlighting the good work our priests do.
I bought a book about priests, that highlighted silent, but hard-working priests across the USA, who are working wonders in their neighborhoods. If I get the link, I will post it. We need more of that.

Entertainment Weekly has a review of it, and is disappointed that Hoffman and Streep, dod not in fact give nuanced performances. He blames it on the director, the playwright, by the way. Left to themselves, the leads simply have too little personal understanding of the religious life, to express it. So we get sterotypes instead of real people.

Here’s a link to a good book:

I believe plays are usually better and this one had brilliant reviews for the play, but mixed for the movie. has a few reviews from different venues.

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