Sharon reviews Notes On a Scandal

notes.jpgNotes On a Scandal is the tale of two teachers, one young, one heading to retirement and the secrets that bind them together, the biggest being an affair with a student. It stars Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy. It is directed by Richard Eyre. The release date is December 27th.

The film begins with the funny thoughts, feelings and petty gossip of an old school teacher named Barbra (Dench) who writes in a diary (her voice come in from time to time over the film for narration). We see old Barbra sizing up all of the students and teachers, finding them all lacking in that fantastic dry sarcastic way that the British do best. Enter Blanchett’s character Sheba, sweet, kind, and a bit overwhelmed by the school’s rowdy students. The two of course become unlikely friends, with Barbra showing Sheba the ropes and Sheba inviting Barbra into her home, and her fun, family, a grand thing since the old woman is by herself.

THe story picks up pace with the affair between a student and Sheba, and how Barbra discovers and handles this. My how things can change, this movie melts away from friendship and humor into a cat and mouse chase in a way that is like seeing a frog being boiled alive. The chemistry is great between these two. I was very impressed by how sympathetic I felt towards both characters, even though they were both doing things that were indeed scandalous and against my own morals. It is a movie that you will want to talk about afterwards with a friend.

The film isn’t perfect though, my main criticism was the director’s heavy handedness with the foreshadowing. It could have been the editing as well but there was a definite amount of spoon feeding and that is something that I detest. However with this movie because the dialogue, subject matter and acting are so good I would still see it again.

For a no, go or routh I’m giving this a go, and from a scale of one to ten I give this an eight.

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