Cast includes: Meryl Streep (The Hours), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Talented Mr. Ripley), Amy Adams (Charlie Wilson’s War)
In brief: The year is 1964, and Father Flynn is taking on the challenge of modernizing St. Nicholas School in the Bronx. Long-time principal, Sister Aloysius, has been the guardian of tradition, which includes, among other things, prohibition against ballpoint pens, secular Christmas songs and being friendly. When Sister James mentions an exchange between Father Flynn and Donald Miller, the new boy, Sister Aloysius sees it as her opportunity to challenge Father Flynn’s attempts to modernize the school. But the issue grows into much more when Father Flynn won’t admit guilt. He demands proof. She has her certainty.
Based on a Pulitzer-Prize winning play, this film is a spellbinding experience, even for those who’ve seen the play. The production, script and acting are thoroughly first rate. In an era of priest transgressions, it’s hard to ignore Sister Aloysius’s certainty. What if she’s right? Yet we want to believe the personable Father Flynn. Why can’t we?
This is a wonderful film for discussion. Having a Catholic school education may make the film more relevant, but its themes are meaningful to all of us. By the end of the film, I was certain I knew the answer to the central question. Yet others felt they also knew the answer… but reached an entirely different conclusion. Once accused, what does it take to be fully exonerated?
4 popped kernels
Popped kernels for a wonderful story, exceptional acting and excellent script. I hated Sister Aloysius... but that was what I was supposed to feel.