Meryl Monday: Miss Streep is brilliant as a no-nonsense nun who has her certainty but later has “Doubt”
The same year – 2008 – that she starred in the big screen version of the musical Mamma Mia, Meryl Streep had one of the best dramatic showcases of her storied career as the no-nonsense Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt.
Cherry Jones had played the role to great acclaim on Broadway and won a Tony Award but, as often is the case, the stage star was replaced by a screen star for the movie adaptation. But it’s hard to quibble with the casting of Miss Streep who is absolutely superb in this film.
The film is set in a Bronx Catholic school in 1964. The sister, who is the school’s principal, begins to question a popular priest’s (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) ambiguous relationship with a troubled 12 year old black student.
The scenes here are the dramatic confrontation between the sister and the priest as well as the end of the film when she confesses to a fellow nun that she is not as certain about his guilt as she thought she was.
Miss Streep won the Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance (I’ve included her glorious acceptance speech below) and was nominated for an Oscar as were co-stars Hoffman, Amy Adams and Viola Davis.