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Notes on a Scandal (2006)

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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.

Director:

Richard Eyre

Writers:

Patrick Marber (screenplay), Zoë Heller (novel) (as Zoe Heller)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 71 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Judi Dench ... Barbara Covett
Cate Blanchett ... Sheba Hart
Tom Georgeson Tom Georgeson ... Ted Mawson
Michael Maloney ... Sandy Pabblem
Joanna Scanlan ... Sue Hodge
Shaun Parkes ... Bill Rumer
Emma Kennedy ... Linda
Syreeta Kumar Syreeta Kumar ... Gita
Andrew Simpson ... Steven Connolly
Phil Davis ... Brian Bangs
Wendy Nottingham Wendy Nottingham ... Elaine Clifford
Tameka Empson Tameka Empson ... Antonia Robinson
Leon Skinner Leon Skinner ... Davis
Bill Nighy ... Richard Hart
Juno Temple ... Polly Hart
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

One woman's secret is another woman's power. One woman's fear is another woman's weapon. One woman's life is in another woman's hands.... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

26 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escándalo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$414,487, 31 December 2006

Gross USA:

$17,510,118

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,752,391
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack O'Connell auditioned for the role of Steven Connolly. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 »


Soundtracks

Funky Kingston
Written by Toots Hibbert (as Frederick Hibbert)
Performed by Toots & The Maytals (as Toots and the Maytals)
Produced by Leslie Kong
Reproduced by kind permission of Blue Mountain Music Ltd.
Administered by Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd. (c) 1971
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Courtesy of D&F Music Frederick Hibbert
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brill, Dark, Witty....and "Marvelously Judi Dench/Cate Blanchett"
27 December 2006 | by screenwriter-14See all my reviews

NOTES ON A SCANDAL is a Judi Dench "triumph" of brilliant wit, pain and a satanic passion for a woman out of reach in Cate Blanchett. Her "Judas" to her supposed friend and fellow teacher is an acting performance which will land Ms. Dench right back in "Oscar country". Too bad it is in the same year as Helen Mirren's magnificent "Queen" as Dench gives a show here in NOTES ON A SCANDAL that leaves you quite breathless to the last and final scene and fade out.

Patrick Marber delivers a deliciously wicked, witty and crisply written script in NOTES, and it only enhances his reputation for giving an audience a story well developed and with characters that you can't take your eyes off on the screen. His writing in CLOSER was so brilliant and clever, but in NOTES ON A SCANDAL he hands Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett words that are zingers and with a strong blend of anger, pain and humor. Please, Patrick, gives us another film quickly! The "teacher/student" romance was well developed and the chemistry between the two actors was believable and very sexual, and one could understand the youthful passion delivered by a young man with a strong mind and body. I did at times have to listen carefully to the young actor's lines, but he delivered them like a pro.

In the weeks ahead, I anticipate a "roar from the crowd" for this very dark and witty Judi Dench performance and who knows, she may upset "The Crown" in the end come Oscar time.


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