Father Flynn is a friendly and caring priest brilliantly played by Philip Seymour Hoffman accused by Meryl Streep’s Sister Aloysius of giving a black altar boy wine and probably molesting him too. Meryl Streep equally delivered a masterful performance. Their confrontation in Sister Aloysius’ office is an acting sword fight between these venerable actors that kept me at the edge of my seat.
“Doubt is a bond more powerful than certainty”, Father Flynn said in his first sermon in the film.
He’s right, regarding my certainty of his transgressions after the movie ended. Well, did he or didn’t he commit improprieties on one of his altar boys? The movie left me suspicious of his innocence. And so much in doubt of his guilt. Streep’s character so do too in the end. Streep’s capitulation in the end could have been threshed out better. Her abrupt change of heart needed some back story to pull it up. I find the movie lacking tension to make for a more riveting film.
The movie may be too slow for some moviegoers who like fast twisting turns in the plot. There are no special effects, sex, and gimmicks here. Just a morality tableau presented with brilliant acting. Hoffman, and Streep made this movie. Supporting actors delivered well headed by Amy Adams, as a young nun in the movie. Less able actors cannot make this movie fly.