memories of my melancholy mother

i have nuns in my family… a couple of priests too.  people here in new york are all surprised to hear that.  they think it is shocking to meet an atheist who understands their religion and once even believed in it.  in fact, rumor has it that both my aunt and uncle were on the way to the holy orders when they were met their respective lovers and became sinners instead. 

i am a recovering catholic.

i completely remember taking communion, wearing a white dress in third grade, avoiding making confession, never being allowed to be an altar “girl” but being forced to carry the candles for the stations of the cross.  i remember all of this, and while i can admit to thinking it is all bullshit, i am glad i was a part of it.

the entire setting of Doubt ( made me think of my childhood.  i never attended an officially catholic school (even though Saint Mary’s was attached to and owned by the church… it was ostensibly secular), but i did attend religion classes at Saint Lawrence in Sandoval, Illinois.  And this was the only joy of the first twenty or thirty minutes of the movie.  i was just totally comfortable in this terrain.  i can remember the damn lessons and the heavy-handed sermons.

but then there is this moment.  meryl streep, amy adams, and phillip seymour hoffman are sitting in MS’s office.  and the entire movie just explodes open at this moment.  and from that moment forward, it’s muthafuckin’ on!  and PSH and MS completely earn their paychecks and then some.  Okay, maybe not their whole paychecks because NO ONE should ever be paid that much for anything–not even the people who save our lives and teach our children (like me.. hint hint).

there are several things alluded to in the film, none of which i will debate here.  i have no interest in ruining what is actually a quite fantastic film.  wait it out, there are two scenes (the one listed above is one of them) that will absolutely BLOW YOU MUTHAFUCKIN’ MIND!

here is the truth that many never want to admit: meryl streep is actually a fucking genius.  i actually think it might be impossible for her to do a bad job at anything.  i have loved her since i first saw A Cry in the Dark.  A dingo stole my baby!  A dingo stole my baby!  She nails this perfectly, and she makes me glad i have a cougar fetish–even if she is not so beautiful in this film.

PSH is another example of complete film excellence.  i think (pre-Capote) no one really knew who he was.  this is not because he wasn’t recognizable.  it was because he was so damned good at his job that he was so good at his roles that one would never see him as anything other than Scotty (Mr. Fuckin’ Idiot) from Boogie Nights, etc.

Long story long…. this is the a good flick that touches on the following important issues.  If you find them interesting, see this flick… if you don’t, you have no depth.

1.   Race
2.   Religion
3.   Certainty
4.   Uncertainty
5.   Homosexuality
6.   Gender
7.   Contemporary Crusade/Martyrdom
8.   Innocence



~ by acaseofyou12581 on December 20, 2008.

2 Responses to “memories of my melancholy mother”

  1. The end is what really blows me away.
    Meryl Streep wasn’t always my favorite actress, but the older I get and the more she does, the more I love her and her work.

  2. I would stalk Meryl Streep. Have you seen Sophie’s Choice? ‘Nuff said.

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