Notes On A Scandal (2006)

Notes On A Scandal was actually the only really good film I saw this week. It stars Judi Dench, and Cate Blanchett. This psychological thriller is directed by Richard Eyre.

Dench plays Barbara Covett, a history teacher at a British public high school. She lives with her cat, and from all appearances, is a spinster. A new art teacher arrives on the scene, Sheba Hart (Blanchett) who has an older husband, and two children. At first this all has a seemingly normal appearance, but what lies beneath is what makes this a fascinating character study. Sheba, seeking more passion in her life, crosses the lines, and becomes sexually involved with one of her students. As if this wasn't bad enough, Barbara finds out about this, and rather than reporting it to the headmaster, she decides to use it to blackmail Sheba towards her own agenda. As the film progresses, I'm wondering which of the women are more evil, because it's really a tie at several points, although in my opinion, experience wins out in the end. The audience gains insight into Covett's psyche as she writes her most inner thoughts in her daily diary (she seems a tad bit old for MySpace).

Notes On A Scandal
is like the extremely dark version of Bridget Jonse's Diary. It is very well acted, with a sinister plot, elevated to a new level thanks to the British accented narration, and use of their rich colloquial language.

Overall Grade: A-


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