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Doubt (2008) WS R1 Retail DVD
Amazing performances from Streep, Hoffman, Adams and Davis. `DOUBT' is a thought provoking film that leaves you feeling a bit unsettled at the film's end.
"DOUBT" is a film based on the Tony Award winning play "Doubt: A Parable" by John Patrick Shanley. The play was so successful would take the popular play and bring it to the big screen and Shanley would be the screen writer and director.
Eventually, the film struck a chord with critics as "DOUBT" received five Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Meryl Streep), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), Best Supporting Actressmore… Amy Adams and Viola Davis and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Patrick Shanley). And after watching the film, you realize that this film and the talents are definitely deserving of each of those nominations.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"DOUBT" is featured in 1080p High Definition with an aspect ration of 1:85:1. The picture quality is very good as you can see the pores on the skin of Philip Seymour Hoffman, so it is done quite well. But the film is mostly shot indoors. The colors are not so vibrant as the sisters and Father Flynn are typically wearing black and white. The school is featured in shades of brown and when shots are done outdoors, skies are gray and definitely not scenes that showcase much colors. In a way, there is a sort of darkness when watching the film, even though it is a film that takes place in a Catholic school.
Cinematography courtesy of the talent Director of Photography Roger Deakins ("No Country for Old Men", "Shawshank Redemption", "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and many more), Deakins knows how to capture a mood and since he is one of my favorite DP's, he manages to capture light and dark moods of the film.
As for audio, audio is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD (48 kHz/24-Bit) and French 5.1 Dolby Digital. One thing that really came out quite well through my system in hearing the various soundtrack in DTS-HD is the music. From the choir to the score, it comes out quite clear during the film. For the most part, the film is dialogue-based. Dialogue is clear but this is not a film to expect major usage of your rear channels.
"DOUBT" comes with several informative special features:
* From Stage to Screen--(19:06) An intimate discussion with playwright, screenwriter and director John Patrick Shanley about the history of "Doubt", including his inspirations for the story, the acclaim the play's Broadway run received, the Pulitzer Prize and the process of adapting it for the screen. Joining the conversation are Meryl Streep and Sister Margaret McEntee (a consultant on the film and Shanley's former teacher).
* Scoring Doubt--(4:37) Renowned composer Howard Shore discusses his inspiration for the music in the film and his collaboration with both John Patrick Shanley and producer Scott Rudin.
* The Sisters of Charity--(6:28) In an insightful and lively dialogue, Meryl Streep and John Patrick Shanley discuss the interviews that Shanley did before shooting with real nuns to discuss their lives and make sure they would be accurately portrayed in the film.
* Feature Commentary with John Patrick Shanley - (103 minutes) For the commentary, we get a bit of insight of John Patrick Shanley's experience of going to a Catholic school in the Bronx and trying to utilize what he remembers and making it come to life on film. Shanley talks about the various talent, various scenes and how certain shots came about.
* The Cast of Doubt-- (13:30) Ew.com's discussion with actors Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. A fun and insightful conversation with the talent and their feeling about the film and if the critics would get it.
"DOUBT" is a thought provoking film. Taking what we have seen in the last decade with certain pastors accused and having gotten away for child molestation, "DOUBT" tries to show viewers that even back in 1964, a perspective of how this was happening and despite some people having doubts about a priest and a few of those individuals with a close relationship with the younger altar boys, what makes this film much more entertaining is watching Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman really going off each other and both delivering powerful performances.
Meryl Streep's transformation to Sister Aloysius is just impressive and her ability to project intimidation to even the viewer showcases her multiple-award winning talent. Philip Seymour Hoffman is just a man who is well liked but to Sister Aloysius, it's about how far she will go to use her intimidation against him. But as intimidating as she is to the Father. The truth is that the system and hierarchy of how things are handled in the church reside in the leadership of men, not so much towards the women. So, Hoffman then engages in intimidation towards Sister Aloysius. Needless to say, the exchange between both individuals is quite powerful. Which one of these individuals engages in their own perfidy?
The other impressive performances go to Amy Adams as Sister Jane. She exhibits innocence, purity and someone trying to comprehend why Sister Aloysius is the way she is and if she can possibly bring something new to the school with her warmer style. Unfortunately, this style is similar to Father Flynn's and a style that Sister Aloysius is against. So, to see the fear and intimidation that the Sister Jane is feeling is well projected by Adams.
And Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller. Despite having only several minutes on screen, her performance as a mother who has seen her son tormented and defeated, beaten and made to feel as an outcast, is willing to let him allegedly be in the companionship of the father, because he is the only person that has been there to protect him. Twisted logic it may be, but considering the time this film takes place and that he was the sole Black person being integrated into the school, you feel sympathy for Mrs. Douglas but at the same time feel a bit disgusted. Nevertheless, Viola Davis really did a great job portraying the mother in this film.
"DOUBT" is indeed a powerful and though provoking film. The final minutes leave you feeling a bit unsettled. But the film is indeed a pleasure to watch because of the power of the performances by the four key talents of the film.
They made their characters so believable and because of that, "DOUBT" was able to flourish into this intriguing and gripping film. By the end of the film, you have no doubt in your mind that Streep, Hoffman, Adams and Davis were definitely deserving of their Academy Award nominations. Highly recommended!
|Philip Seymour Hoffman|
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