A few nights ago in Woolongong on a cold night I decided to rent ‘Doubt’, a story based in a religious institution but more about the human condition in general than simply people of faith.
Despite falling asleep and snoring loudly for 15 minutes of it, I was still impressed by its careful and nuanced storyline. I felt it could easily have been retitled ‘Fear’ as this emotion pervaded the story to an equal degree.
Doubt is the story of a progressive priest in a Catholic school who is seen as a threat by the super-conservative principal nun. His long fingernails and use of a ballpoint pen instead of a fountain pen cause her to question the very core of his character and ultimately lead her to a place of character assassination to try and rid her life of this non-conforming and disturbing man.
Part of the genius of the movie is that we aren’t sure who are the ‘goodies’ and who are the ‘baddies’, but then maybe that is the whole point? No one is ever ‘all good’ or ‘all bad’.
The final scene of the movie is brilliant as it shows just what is at the core of Sister Aloysius’ own struggles and reveals the conflicted nature of so many who appear to be so righteous and who ‘need’ to denounce others who don’t share their high standards.
There aren’t many movies I like to watch twice, but I’ll be revisiting that one once it hits the weekly shelves.