This guy, this Doubt fan, keeps writing me about the film, acknowledging that I’m still under embargo but wanting to know if I think it’s a Best Picture contender plus an “actor’s movie,” or just the latter. It’s certainly an actor’s movie, I said, and arguably…make that certainly a Best Picture contender in that it serves a brilliant play with bracing clarity and authority, and when you throw in Roger Deakins‘ exquisite cinematography it’s a fairly impressive thing. A class act in every respect.

The guy’s latest inquiry is whether or not the ambiguity and suspense of the story (i.e., did he or didn’t he do it?) is still intact when film ends. He’s asking this because it’s been written by one or two persons who attended the AFI Fest screening that the suspense in the movie version is less than that rendered in the original stage play.

I answered that I asked director-screenwriter John Patrick Shanley about this angle at the AFI after-party, and that as far as he’s concerned the play and the film version deliver the exact same level of ambiguity.