Friday, January 30, 2009


I know it's a cliche to say this, but Meryl Streep is flippin' brilliant. Truly, she is amazing. It's no wonder she got the Best Actress Oscar nomination for "Doubt". From her first hissed words to her closing confession, I was glued to her presence. She never drops the New York accent and never stops inhabiting the mind and body of this domineering nun obsessed with proper monastic behavior (man, the look on her face when Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character requests sugar in his tea--so perfect) and stubbornly doing the right thing.

I am a huge, huge fan of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and I recognize that Amy Adams is a great actress, but amazingly they both pale in comparison to Streep, to the point where I'm surprised at their Oscar nominations for their supporting roles. At times, I was distracted by Adams' choices, as if naive idealism has be to portrayed as a soft, and at times, shrill, child. And I was surprised that Hoffman drifted in and out of his New York cadence almost to the point of sounding anachronistic in a big scene with Streep. Impressively, Viola Davis holds her own in her scene with Streep, with a simple muted performance. Coupled with the disquieting choices her character has made in the best interest of her son, she will probably win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

The movie as a whole, I'd give a B+. The movie is enlightening both of the time period and the sexism of the Church. The plot is gripping in that there is no clear answer on what was done or what the right thing to do was. It's worth seeing this movie, whether in the theaters or on DVD, for Streep.

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