No Doubt

Movie Review DOUBT ***1/2 - When it comes to the sex scandal and the movie "Doubt," there is no doubt who is to blame. It is the Church. That message is the purpose of the film, so much so that the central question of the story - is Phillip Seymour Hoffman's character guilty of sexual wrongdoing - is left unresolved to avoid confusion. The flat weight of repression sets the tone at St. Nicholas Catholic School, as all members of the devout are shown, whether priest or nun, to be pathetic and damaged by the very fact of their presence. Some nuns are dumb and most are weak, while Hoffman's priest character is a bit corrupt, but not as corrupt, perhaps, as is Streep as the heart-hardened principal. The acting is as fine as you would expect, and the mystery carries the requisite tension, but the heavy handedness of the message interfered with my ability to get lost in the story, which the preview reveals far too much of.