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Notes on a Scandal (2006)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  26 January 2007 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 62,223 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 277 user | 215 critic | 35 from

A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, 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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 52 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Georgeson ...
Syreeta Kumar ...
Brian Bangs (as Phil Davis)
Wendy Nottingham ...
Tameka Empson ...
Leon Skinner ...


The bitter, cynical and lonely Barbara Covett is a tough and conservative teacher, near to retirement, who is loathed by her colleagues and students. In the loneliness of her apartment, she spends her spare time writing her journal, taking care of her old cat Portia and missing her special friend Jennifer Dodd. When Sheba Hart joins the high-school as the new art teacher, Barbara dedicates her attention to the newcomer, writing sharp and unpleasant comments about her behavior and clothes. When Barbara helps Sheba in a difficult situation with two students, the grateful Sheba invites her to have lunch with her family. Sheba introduces her husband and former professor Richard Hart, who is about twenty years older than she; her rebellious teenager daughter Polly; and her son Ben that has Down's Syndrome. Barbara becomes close to Sheba, but when she accidentally discovers that Sheba is having an affair with the fifteen year-old student Steven Connolly, Barbara sees the chance to ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Loneliness can turn one into a monster. See more »


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some aberrant sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

26 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escándalo  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,090 (USA) (22 December 2006)


$17,508,670 (USA) (18 May 2007)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy have both appeared in productions of The Lord of the Rings. Blanchett played Galadriel in the Peter Jackson films, while Nighy played Sam Gamgee in the BBC Radio broadcast. Both productions also featured Ian Holm. See more »


When Sheba confronts Barbara about her diary, the makeup (eyeliner) she has smudged by crying changes. One moment she had dark thick eyeliner on, the next moment she has very little of eyeliner still on, and then the eyeliner comes back as before. See more »


[first lines]
Barbara Covett: [voiceover of Barbara writing in her diary] People trust me with their secrets. But who do I trust with mine? You, only you.
See more »


Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Written by Siouxsie Sioux / Steven Severin / Budgie
Performed by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Published by Chrysalis Music/Domino
(p) 2002 Siouxsie and the Banshees
See more »

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User Reviews

The Brits and an Aussie outdo US with "Notes on a Scandal"
30 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Without a doubt this year's Academy Awards will be a show to watch. You may want to turn the spot lights to the "BEST ACTRESS IN LEADING ROLE" nomination, because if you saw "The Queen" and loved Helen Mirren, you ain't seen nothing' yet. Go watch "Notes on a Scandal" with Dame Judi Dench at helm, and make sure to bring your casket with you, because you may die of watching a movie that good.

Years ago I went to see a play in a theater. At some point in the show, the grandmother character had to sweep the floor and when she was done, she looked around to make sure nobody was looking and threw the dirt under the carpet. Everyone in the audience laughed. Later I learned that in theater "language" it also may mean that there are hidden secrets in that family.

The director Richard Eyre,who is known mostly for his theater/Broadway work, seems to build this amazing film based on that little theater shtick, and fills the film with the darkness under the carpet, puts us right there and makes us face that dirt. The characters of the young teacher played by Cate Blanchett and older teacher played by M. Judi Dench are impeccable and you can't take your eyes off them. I, personally, think that Dench's performance is one of the finest I have ever seen.

I wouldn't want to spoil the movie for you and give out details, however if you are looking for watching a powerful drama that will shock and thrill and move you with its message, execution and the story, please read no further. Stand up, get dressed and go to see "Notes on a Scandal" right now.


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The movie left out some really good stuff from the book. SeeMyVest
Paracetamol bcubedgirl
Is Sheba the villain? very-blue
37yr old simulating sex with a 16yr old? asanal
Screenplay? scar112
Eastbourne? lucvischer-1
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