Monday, February 11, 2008

Notes on a Scandal (2006)


I'm astounded to find sometimes the number of films that just seemed to pass me by. One of these films was Notes on a Scandal starring Judi Dench & Cate Blanchett. The film is a wonderfully salacious and psychologically controlling character piece, which showcases two of the film industry's most gifted actresses. The film is about a veteran high school teacher (Dench) who befriends a younger art teacher (Blanchett), who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.

Notes of a Scandal is like watching a car wreck. You want to look away, but you become too embroiled into the characters to look away. Dench is at her best, and Blanchett actually makes you believe why a women can become obsessed with a boy. Another actor who should be mentioned also is Bill Nighy as Richard Hart Blanchett's husband. He gives a very subliminal performance in the film and in one scene we feel very bad for his character, and Nighy does this with the most expertise. The director Richard Eyre,who is known mostly for his theater/Broadway work, seems to build this amazing film from the darkness it was written for. Patrick Marber wrote the screenplay from the novel by Zoe Heller and it all works. I didn't have the urge to fast forward through awkward moments because there weren't any. The characters went through their paces, and took me along for the ride.

Of course where you would think this film would devolve into some sort of violence it doesn't. Instead it goes to the logical conclusion where everyone shares the stain of guilt. If you want to see a good character piece watch Notes of a Scandal and enjoy the performances by some of the best performers in the biz/

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