Doubt is a grim little film about nuns and priests and fear and racism and homophobia and child abuse and the Catholic Church. Good times.

The jovial, progressive but possibly predatory Father Flynn has marked out for “special attention” a gentle, isolated youngster who’s having the crap beaten out of him by his brutal dad. Suspecting that the good Father’s attentions may not be, shall we say, “wholesome”, School Principal Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep – almost unrecognisable from the bed-bouncing nut of Mama Mia) recruits the naive halfwit Sister James to spy on him. Various Bronx and New York locations appear, including the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riversdale.

So did he do it? Did he not? Do we believe him? Do we not? The actually movie doesn’t attempt to answer these pertinent questions. However, I rather think the nub of the narrative is that Father Flynn is promoted, cossetted and protected, rather than thrown in jail or simply beaten to a pulp. And of the moral authority of Church in question? – oh, of that I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever.

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