This movie says one thing indelibly: a play is a play is a play. Why Hollywood keeps mistaking theatre for cinema is beyond me. Maybe all the accolades get in the way. But no matter how great a play, it must be destroyed if it’s to make a great movie. That’s why Baz Luhrmann was right to wreck Romeo + Juliet. If you worship words, you shouldn’t be making movies. Movies are pictures, not text. The trouble for writer/director John Patrick Shanley is that he’s made Doubt into a monument to his own (award-winning) stage play. As a movie: it would make a great play.
The grudge movie is a simple concept: you take a movie you wouldn’t want to watch in a million years and you go to watch it, grudgingly – because it’s something your partner wants to see. For millions of women across the world, this summer, the official grudge movie is Hellboy II. For millions of men, the grudge movie is Mamma Mia. Though these two movies have little in common at a surface level, they share a common bond of inducing terror in the opposite sex and – while not being good movies – they are also both hugely enjoyable (provided one isn’t compelled to watch them under duress).