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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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Popularity
4,947 ( 265)

Cate Blanchett Through the Years

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 68 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:

£1,141,364 (United Kingdom), 4 February 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,090, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$17,508,670, 20 May 2007

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$26,196,359, 9 April 2007
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

When Barbara has had her meeting with the headmaster at which he reveals what he knows about her stalking of Jennifer Dodd, she throws up in a school toilet. In the background, on the wall, is written the graffiti: "Babs Covett = nasty old lezza. I want to lick her mangy twat." See more »

Goofs

The LP that Steven picks up in Sheba's workshop is "Kaleidoscope" by Siouxsie and the Banshees (1980). The band's song that plays over the scene, however, is "Dizzy," which was first released as a single in 1992. 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.
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Connections

Featured in American Dad!: Da Flippity Flop (2013) 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
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User Reviews

 
Jarring Notes Superbly Performed
26 February 2007 | by littlemartinarocenaSee all my reviews

Judi Dench and Cate Blanchet both have played the fierce Queen Elizabeth I in their careers and here they fight for the crown in a royal match that is as entertaining as it is jarring. Two civilized women breaking into very uncivilized patterns of behavior. A highbrow story with a tabloid sensibility performed with truth and gusto. Bette Davis would have killed for Judi Dench's part at the time of Baby Jane and although there is nothing grotesque in the way Dame Judy presents us her monster, the monster herself is grotesque. She explains, in a witty and consistent voice over, what's in her mind. The center of her intentions become so appallingly clear to us that Cate Blanchet's slowness to catch up becomes exasperating. Maybe her suffocating domestic situation throws her into the arms of her absurdity. She seems a woman searching for validation without any real vocation. A teacher who doesn't believe she can teach, a mediocre wife a light weight mother. Judi Dench is relentlessly solid in her madness made of longing and fears. I left the theater with a desperate need for a double scotch on the rocks, just to take a strange taste off my mouth.


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