Notes on a Scandal
Judi Dench comes out of the closet in a way that sends uncomfortable shivers down your spine, in an out of character role which she nails in much the same way Robin Williams did in One Hour Photo – only with an intensity of an F5 tornado.
Playing the part of a grumpy, unrelenting teacher who is disliked by most, she latches onto the new teacher (Blanchett) instantly, using her like a pawn in a game of obsession that spins violently out of control when Dench’s character discovers that she is not the only one with intimate plans for the new teacher.
As uncomfortable as the storyline is, Notes, towards the end of it’s 98 minutes, has you in a disturbing embrace, fondly attached to the screen in front of you, not because you empathise with any of the characters, but because you recognise the raw acting talent of both Dench and Blanchett, whose performances unfortunately eclipse the lovable, quirky and always a pleasure to watch, Bill Nighy, who for once seems totally outclassed and possibly out of place.
Food for thought
Obsessions never bring the joy that is hoped for.
Reviewed by: Jonathan Read.
Rating: M – Contains Violence, Offensive Language & Sex Scenes.
Duration: 98 mins.
Genre: Suspense & Thriller, Thriller.
Actors: Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Michael Maloney, Philip Davis, Julia McKenzie, Max Lewis, Andrew Simpson, Juno Temple.
Director: Richard Eyre.
Release Date: Available now.