2. Unfortunately, having fought insomnia all last night, I kept slipping into little naps. Maybe it was all God, Jesus, and Mary when I was snoozing, but I think not.
3. Booger acting. I know many actors go for the tears-streaming-streaming-down face or the single tear welling up and finally dripping slowly down the cheek, but tears are the most pleasant of the bodily fluids. In "Doubt," one character goes for many long minutes with mucus flowing from her nostrils, even taking the path across the lips and into the mouth. It's kind of distracting! Not since "Blair Witch Project" have we seen such booger acting.
4. I kept trying to picture how the play was staged. Now, I've looked it up. From Ben Brantley's 2004 review: "The play unfolds mostly as a series of dialogues, punctuated by two monologues - sermons delivered by Father Flynn to his congregation on the subjects of doubt and gossip." That sounds better than the movie.
5. It wasn't bad. It had a tight script and some nice Streepage.
6. "I don't have an organized religious thing, but I have love in my life."
7. I'm seeing all the well-reviewed year-end movies, and there's an awful lot of wrong-age sex. "Doubt" is about a priest accused of molesting children. "Benjamin Button," with its backwards aging character, had scenes of an old man in love with a young girl and an old woman in love with a toddler. "The Reader" had a 36-year-old woman seducing a 15-year-old boy. "Milk" had a man in his 40s pursuing relationships with much younger (and more fragile) men. "Slumdog Millionaire" shows a young teenage girl being sold for sex. I say that Hollywood is delivering pedophiliac titillation with the deniability of artistic pretension.
8. "Doubt" works as a law movie. There are no lawyers or trials, but the subject of evidence is well-explored. There's an especially good illustration of the way a lie can be used to produce a reaction that constitutes relevant evidence.
9. We had a long discussion of the meaning of the little magnetic dancing ballerina the priest gives the boy.
ADDED: John Podhoretz gets it exactly right. Slightly spoilerish Excerpt"
[Writer-director John Patrick] Shanley's certitude about the lack of certitude in his play demonstrates why it was a mistake to put him at the helm of the movie version, since it proves he is an even worse interpreter of his own work than he is a director of it....Podhoretz, like me, is not buying the bogus profundity of snot: "Viola Davis... may win an Oscar for best supporting actress largely because she goes without a tissue for a few minutes."
Doubt works not because the story is ambiguous, but because it is not ambiguous. It is, rather, a potent and unforgettable account of systemic injustice.