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Notes on a Scandal
10 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Richard Eyre

Written By:
Patrick Marber

Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Georgeson, Michael Maloney, Shaun Parkes, Philip Davis, Wendy Nottingham, Bill Nighy, Joanna Scanlan, Juno Temple, Emma Kennedy, Syreeta Kumar, Andrew Simpson, Leon Skinner, Tameka Empson

Notes on a Scandal (2006)
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Movie Review by Jessica Film Junkie
November 18th, 2007

Judi Judi Judi

There is something about a woman who allows herself to look weathered and aged and yet who possesses severe intensity and appeal that is magnetic and unforgettable. There is something about Judi Dench that draws the eye no matter who she is acting with. Do not be mistaken, though Cate Blanchett is a formidable actress in her own right, this movie stars one woman: Dame Judi.

The story follows Dench's schoolteacher who has given up on inspiration and settled for severity as she befriends Blanchett's new art teacher full of idealism and passion. The story is told through the diaries of Dench's lonely 'spinster' and thus the tone is that of the judgmental observer, a woman who appears to know everything and yet who is too much at a distance to be able to interact with any sense of normalcy.

There is a scandal. The title tells us that, however it is not the newsworthy scandal that entrances in this strange film. Rather, we are drawn in by the obsessive motives of Dench's maniacal villainess. Blanchett's character becomes less and less sympathetic and thus we begin to identify with the woman who most scares us because at least she is at least somewhat sensible. The story thus forces us to become attached to the woman fighting for what she wants rather than the one who is allowing her life to fall apart due to her selfish and ridiculous desires.

Overall this film feels too small at times, and I wish the director had taken more chances with his cinematography, but Dench is riveting.

A strangely intriguing film.

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