Doubt. 2008. John Patrick Shanley, director. United States.
One of the more memorable roles for Philip Seymour Hoffman, to me, was as Father Flynn in Doubt. Set in 1964, Flynn is a priest in the Bronx. Sister Aloysius, principal of the school attached to the parish Flynn administers, becomes suspicious of the relationship between Flynn and one of the students in her school. A tagline for the film reads: “There is no evidence. There are no witnesses. But, for one, there is no doubt”. This encapsulates the struggle that will unfold between the priest and the sister.
Children of Men. 2006. Alfonso Cuarón, director. Mexico.
In his review of Babel, Roger Ebert describes its filmmaker as one of three men representing the “New Mexican Cinema”. Ebert notes how, in the past, a country might suddenly produce a brilliant generation of filmmakers and he expresses his view that, in the present, such a flowering is occurring in Mexico. Babel, Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men were three Mexican pictures released in the same year and each, in my opinion, is a near masterpiece.
Away from Her. 2006. Sarah Polley, director. Canada.
Away from Her owes existence to two very talented Canadian women; author Alice Munro and director Sarah Polley. Based upon a short-story penned by Munro – entitled “The Bear Came over the Mountain” – Away from Her follows an older man named Grant who is increasingly experiencing abandonment. Two factors contribute to his sense of having been marooned.