Notes on a Scandal

Published September 19, 2010

Notes on a Scandal

Film info

  • Title Notes on a Scandal
  • Director Richard Eyre
  • Year 2006
  • Run time 1hr 26m
  • Genres Romance, Drama
  • Tagline One woman's secret is another woman' power

Barbara Covett (Dench) is a domineering and solitary teacher who rules with an iron fist over her classroom at a decaying state-run secondary school in London. Save for her cat, Portia, Barbara lives alone, without friends or confidantes - but her world changes when she meets the school's new art teacher, Sheba Hart (Blanchett). Sheba appears to be the kindred spirit and loyal friend Barbara has always been seeking. But when she discovers that Sheba is having an incendiary affair with one of her young students (Andrew Simpson), their budding relationship takes an ominous turn. Now, as Barbara threatens to expose Sheba's terrible secret to both her husband (Bill Nighy) and the world, Barbara's own secrets and dark obsessions come tumbling to the fore, exposing the deceptions at the core of each of the women's lives.

Live Blog

Time Comment
0:58 A UK Film Council film. There will be no more of those, I guess.
2:13 Imagine looking at a whole school of people and wondering what they will be when they grow up.
4:11 “Below the national average but above the level of catastrophe.”
5:21 He was in Sherlock!
7:08 Surely as a teacher, you need to be able to handle fighting. That’s why I couldn’t do it. Well, one of the many reasons.
10:23 People either leave of get pregnant, no other announcements possible.
11:37 That’s a big old house she’s got. On a teacher’s salary?
13:07 Ah, inheritance.
14:59 I like that she is so very judgemental, but likes it really.
21:56 That was a student, yes? Not good at all.
25:18 I think he’s more creepy than seductive.
29:12 They must be freezing.
30:24 “You’ve done my brain in.” Is that meant to be a compliment?
37:26 Woah, her Christmas is completely manic! How does she cope?
42:48 She’s invited him to her little art studio in her back garden? Behind the house where her family are? She deserves to get caught!
48:29 She rides her bike recklessly fast with no helmet. Probably not her highest priority right now, but still.
52:43 Her marriage doesn’t seem that unhappy. They’re always laughing.
54:11 “Takes courage to recognise the real as opposed to the convenient.”
1:00:17 Do adults really go to friends and ask if she mentions you? Isn’t that for the playground?
1:06:49 Uh oh, the police are there. The cat is well and truly out of the bag.
1:10:27 Quite a lot of supermarket placement in this. She was at Tesco earlier, and those were Asda paracetamol.
1:14:09 She’s watching her sleep, isn’t she? Ugh.
1:16:20 Another supermarket!
1:18:49 I was going to say a few minutes ago her eyes were nice but she may have ruined her makeup now.
1:23:29 I sense another victim.


Talking to Mr C afterwards, I said that I had never heard of this and wasn’t sure it was a particularly big film until I checked Wikipedia, where I saw it had been up for loads of awards and was a critical hit. Mr C said even he had heard of it. I felt shamed.

This was a lot more psychological than I’d thought it was going to be - a lot more about the control and relationship between Judy and Cate, rather than the relationship with the boy. Which is a good thing, because that is a lot more interesting than a silly scandal. Also, it was based on a book which is now added to my Kindle wish list.

Rating: 3 / 5

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