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Doubt (DVD Review)

30 Mar, 2009 By: Angelique Flores


Street 4/7/09
Box Office $33 million
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic material.
Stars Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Viola Davis, Joseph Foster.

The multi-Oscar nominated Doubt brings to the screen the battle between Father Flynn and Sister Aloysius at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in 1964 in the Bronx. The strict nun, also principal at the parish’s school, accuses the popular priest of molesting a student.

If you’re hoping the extras on the DVD of Doubt will give away any big secrets behind the is-he-or-isn’t-he-guilty aspect of the film, you’ll be disappointed. However, the featurettes are rich and entertaining companions to the film.

In “From Stage to Screen,” screenwriter and director John Patrick Shanley, who also wrote the stage play (which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for drama), narrates much of the behind-the-scenes footage and takes viewers from the story’s conception to its adaptation to film.

One of the most interesting extras is the “Sisters of Charity” featurette, which gives a look at the order of nuns portrayed in the film. Four nuns talk candidly about the Sisters of Charity’s history, its founder Elizabeth Ann Seton and how it changed after the Second Vatican Council in 1962.

In “The Cast of Doubt” featurette, Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger sits in a roundtable with Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis. Streep, even when she’s not acting, is still a force who mesmerizes and entertains. This roundtable gives an interesting perspective from the actors’ point of view. It’s almost cute to see them tease and gush over each other.

The audio commentary with Shanley is less informative than the featurettes. He comments mostly about his personal experiences in a Catholic school and how certain elements of the film are autobiographical. He does point out a few behind-the-scenes elements such as lighting, colors, angles and the set.

Rounding out the bonus material is the featurette “Scoring Doubt” with composer Howard Shore (“Lord of the Rings," The Aviator, The Departed).

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