Saturday, September 13, 2008

Meryl, With No Doubt

The trailer to Doubt. [see it in beautiful quicktime] Is the property still magnetized for awards post TONY and Pulitzers?



And shouldn't the Oscar campaign teams leave a little breathing room between the reveals of their Best Actress seeking trailers? Angelina's was less than 48 hours ago.

Doubt: The Movie
looks very much like Doubt: The Play here. I'm still concerned about the casting. I don't think it was wise to cast an actor known for icky and often malevolent characters. That doesn't keep the question mark of the story about this accused priest alive. Just about the only role where PSH has excelled at the warmth that might make Father Flynn a compelling character was in Magnolia. We'll see. We'll also see when it comes to Viola Davis. That role was a powder keg of emotion on stage... but how is it onscreen?
*

30 comments:

Bernardo S said...

not only those two... the first glimpse at Revolutionary Road also srfaced today...showcasing mostly Kate.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Streep looks captivating and, yeah, here's hoping that Viola Davis' role is extended and wows 'em.

Headquarters 10 said...

I'm just happy to see John Patrick Shanley in the director's seat again. It's been 18 long years since JOE VS. THE VOLCANO.

Agent69 said...

I'm not impressed by Meryl. PSH looks like a stand out of the cast.

mrripley said...

agent 69 i agree she looks kind of i don't know off in some way,viola davis looks good and esp amy adams she is looking at a supp nom i fell and not davis,psh i agree nat maybe he will ace it or maybe his baggage will hurt him based on what i've seen trailers,clips,films,reviews etc here are my pics today in this order 1 - 5

winslet
jolie
hathaway
hawkins
leo

Lisa said...

so what do you think of Meryl's scenes in the trailer, Nate?

Anonymous said...

I think Meryl is perfect. I mean, you may say, ofcourse, you're a fan but, I really think she is! Although she reminds me a bit of how she played in the Evening. Not that it's a bad thing. The movie didn't seem anything special to me. But I really thing a nomination for Meryl would be fair. Here I go again with justice. :p

Jim

Catherine said...

I really hope Viola Davis pulls it out of the bag. The trailer kind of left her to the sidelines (she's not a big star, I guess) but hopefully she'll shine in the film.

NATHANIEL R said...

She actually seems to be doing Cherry Jones. which is not a bad thing per se (Cherry was awesome in the stage play)

mrripley said...

i am not convinced this is her 3rd oscar winning part i think winslet will win,they would love to give leo and her his and hers oscars..

Anonymous said...

Win that 3rd Oscar Meryl. Good grief that was great.

Anonymous said...

oh my

this is wrathful, coiled, self righteous yet human

all hail queen MERYL

Anonymous said...

I think that Judi Dench would also be great in this role. It would really suit her. I miss her. At least Meryl and Kate worked a lot this year. :p

Jim

Anonymous said...

meryl really never takes the easy option
she could have played this straight vengeful and scenary chewing
and easy for critics and audience to be wow-ed by

but she always searches for the deeper reached of any character and allows us a little more insight

thats greatness

mrripley said...

the trailer just seemed off to me i dunno i cannot put my finger on it but i sense this will be badly reviewed maybe only viola coming out with anything at all.

John T said...

I wasn't impressed by this trailer at all-sorry. It seems a bit disjointed and stagy.

NicksFlickPicks said...

I'm with John, completely. Meryl looks back in her Manchurian Candidate place, the filmmaking looks strained (canted angles?), and I have no idea why we're looking at so many characters and flashback scenes. Doubt is completely about what you don't know and don't see. I'll obviously wait to judge till I'm seeing the movie, but I have a bad feeling that Shanley has stunted his own material. (I agree with agent69 that Hoffman looks like the standout.)

adam k. said...

Writers sometimes do have a tendency to fuck up their own material in transfer (see Michael Cunningham and A Home at the End of the World), and that may have happened here.

But I thought the trailer was pretty good. I thought something was a bit off about Meryl the first time I watched it, but then I watched it again and things seemed better. I'm not worried about the film.

That said, I always had a feeling Kate would prevail over Meryl this year, and I still feel that way.

Rick said...

If you judge a movie or a performance by a trailer, you really need to question your motives. Wait to see the movie... then define your opinion.

Meryl looks strong in this one just for the fact she is not chewing up the scenery as the role could be interpreted. Let's see around Oscartime. I'm feeling a deserved 3rd win for her/ mainly because she has unjustly been passed by for many years.

lylee said...

On the fence. I f'loved the play and Cherry Jones in it, but have always had doubt (heh) on whether it could be effectively transferred to the screen. The trailer does nothing to either assuage or strengthen my doubts. I'm reserving judgment.

But I do agree with Nat about the casting of Father Flynn. There's something just inherently...squalid, or at least soiled, about PSH, and I don't mean that as an insult. Definitely should have cast someone more attractive, charismatic, but still enigmatic without being creepy...I dunno...maybe Aaron Eckhart? (not that he doesn't play his share of unsavory roles, but he's a hard one to label)
Maybe Hugh Jackman?

lylee said...

Gabriel Byrne or Liam Neeson, ten years ago...

or maybe Ewan McGregor ten years from now...

ok, I'll stop.

Cluster Funk said...

What's with Amy Adams' breathy, Kewpie doll voice? An artistic flourish or character attribute? I haven't seen the play so...

jay b said...

that trailer was horrible. it seemed to give away so much. i think ive become jaded about trailers since nathaniel so magnificently pointed out the beauty of little childrens.

Arkaan said...

Hoffman doesn't look as bad as I expected, but yeah - you do have him as doing the MAJOR PLOT SPOILER. And given that the play is not as ambiguous as it thinks it is (seriously, one line does not make it deep), it looks like shallow stuff. Streep looks interesting, Adams brings a naivety which is necessary, and we all know that Davis can bring it home when needed (her Tony monologue from King Hedley is so furiously charged it's amazing the stage didn't explode), so I think the actors may do some damage in the end.

NicksFlickPicks said...

[SPOILERISH] My hope for Hoffman: since he isn't prototypically seductive (to say the least), he may be able to recapture the dimension of Doubt that argues it's Father Flynn's attention and charisma that puts a certain dynamic in motion, not a freestanding "attractiveness." If you're a kid, and you look around you, and the most solacing presence in your life is PSH, that's a different message entirely than if the most solacing presence is Hugh Jackman. I like my life just fine, give or take a hare-brained electorate in which I am trapped, but I would still race to be solaced by Hugh Jackman if given the slightest chance.

I like the play, but it needs just a little more juicing and layering than Shanley provides (it sometimes feels like a potboiler, pure and simple), and since Shanley's making things even less mysterious with all this added context, it would be great if the thematic point became sharper and more interesting.

Again, and to grant Rick's point, I'm not deciding this now: these are merely the hopes and suspicions I'm gleaning from my experience of the trailer (where Meryl does strike me, uncomfortably, as chewing a bit of the scenery).

Chris Na Taraja said...

OK, This looks like it will be quite good. the play was excellent. Why don't they cast Cherry Jones though? Why does hollywood still do this?

I guess if anyone is going to get your role, it might as well be Streep. At least they won't have to have Marni Nixon dub her voice!

PSH is just perfect for this role. More Priests have his look then the Hugh Jackman Or Arron Eckard studliness..

I'm a bit biased about PSH. He studied with my acting teacher, so i think he's great! He'll be up for an award for this...no doubt!

MRS said...

I think I may have a hard time watching this movie. Hoffman is dubious for all the reasons you mention. He has an aura of child molester about him no matter what role he plays! Also, where is Father Fylnn's blue-collar, New York (and Shanley-esque) accent? Brian F. O'Bryne was perfection in the role; it was a performance that kept you guessing. And while Meryl is less a threat to the movies thematic architecture, she is going to have to pull out all the stops to even approach the brilliance of Cherry Jones in my mind. I can hear every little vocal nuance of that performance in my head to this day. It's one of the best stage performances I've ever seen. Another little note; didn't the play take place in the 60's? The movie takes place, it seems fromt he trailer, in current times. This strikes me as very problematic for myriad reasons but primarily because of the plays commentary about the Catholic Church. Child abuse in the Catholic Church is a known and much criticized phenomenon now. In the 60's much more went unspoken; the church swept it under the rug. Viola Davis' character (and I'm so excited she is playing the part) in particular is hard to imagine in today's social climate. Anyway, I approach the film now with more fear than hope-I so want audience to know how brilliant that play was and the movie might not do it justice.

NATHANIEL R said...

MRS --i agree that Cherry Jones will be hard to beat. she was just electric in that role.

i'm not sure about the time period though. will have to watch again

Janice said...

I was a little confused about the time period too (the costumes said '50's or '60's but that looked like an ipod earbud she pulled from that student. Were transistor radio earphones that small then? )

I haven't seen the play so I'm really going to reserve judgement, but what came across for me was "monstrous woman" and that gets soooooo tiresome for me (as a female moviegoer). Oh and then there's breathy little girl/woman . Yeah, right. I actually thought PSH looked fine in this (I don't get all the hate he gets here at TFE) and if the point is about ambiguity, then even in these clips he works quite well with that "did he or didn't he" vibe. Meryl comes across as an unambiguous monster, chewing up the scenery - say, didn't she do the same in Dancing at Lunghnasa ten, fifteen years ago? That is to say, I don't doubt that she will be very good, but even in this trailer her bits for me had such a familiar flavor, as in I've seen Meryl do this umpteen times before.

I hope the movie is better and more surprising.

It also irks me that in a time when priests have been found to have harmed children, a movie that addresses it makes the woman (nun) look like the monster. I would hasten to add that nuns don't run the Catholic Church and I doubt that a priest would submit to a nun - it would be the other way around, would it not? (It reminds me of that Demi Moore/Michael Douglas film in which she is sexually harrassing him - never mind that in real life, it's the women in the workplace who are usually, although not always, the victims.)

Chris Na Taraja said...

Janice, I suggest you see the film. The play was really well written. it takes these stock characters, who would be irksome, except that they are much richer.

The monsterous women is shown as human, the breathy girl as courageous, and the friendly priest as possibly too friendly but he does not lose his humanity or ability to lead spiritually.

Basically there are no villians or heros in this story just people doing the best they can given the circumstance. And that's what makes the story so interesting.