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Notes On A Scandal [DVD] [2007]


Price: £3.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson, Tom Georgeson, Michael Maloney
  • Directors: Richard Eyre
  • Writers: Patrick Marber, Zoe Heller
  • Producers: Redmond Morris, Robert Fox, Scott Rudin
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Jun. 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PE0JA2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,857 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Psychological thriller starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. 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.

From Amazon.co.uk

Gold stars to all for this taut psychological thriller based on Zoe Heller's novel that that gets more insidiously twisted as it unfolds. Oscar-nominated for her chilling performance, Dame Judi Dench gives a master class as schoolteacher Barbara Covett, a frumpy, friendless, and flinty spinster who lives with her cat. A formidable presence, Barbara is standoffish with colleagues and not one for students to trifle with (not that they'd dare). Cate Blanchett, also an Oscar nominee and winner of several critics society awards for her impassioned performance, costars as Sheba Hart, the new, overwhelmed art teacher who first becomes enthrall to Barbara after she steps in to help Sheba discipline unruly students. Barbara cultivates a friendship, and insinuates herself into Sheba's chaotic life, which includes her older husband (Bill Nighy), teenage daughter, and a son with Down's syndrome. Then, Barbara catches the reckless Sheba in a compromising position with a 15-year-old student (Andrew Simpson). Seizing her opportunity, the calculating Barbara does not turn her in. Rather, she wants to "help" her. "She's the one I've been waiting for," she writes in the journals she meticulously keeps, and which provide, in voiceover, her corrosive commentary. This all sounds very Fatal Attraction, but no boiling rabbits, please; we're British. Philip Glass's Oscar-nominated score accentuates the growing menace. Though there is little in these characters to admire, (one would think GLAAD would have something to say about the predatory turn Barbara's character takes), Notes on a Scandal is a compelling tour-de-force for its Grade-A cast. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By PaRiS jAcKsOn on 29 July 2007
Format: DVD
Will Dame Judi ever present the the faintest trace of mediocity? In 'Notes On A Scandal', she treats us to an utterly compelling performance as Barbera Covett, an embittered journal-writing school teacher who develops an unhealthy obsession with fellow teacher Sheba Hart, played by the similarly fabulous Cate Blanchett.
Barbera's fascination grows when Sheba invites her into the home she shares with her huspand and two children. But when she discovers Sheba's affair with a 15-year-old student, the older teacher slyly uses the information to weild greater power over the object of her obsession.
Based on Zoe Heller's super-successful novel, 'Notes On A Scandal' is a superb character study, the model of a tightly paced drama, but most of all, the scintillating showcase of one of Britain's finest acting talents.

An awsome Brit drama with a visious streak and biting menace. 8 OUT OF 10.

P.J.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kona TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2008
Format: DVD
Lonely high school teacher Barbara Covett's (Judi Dench) only confidant is her diary, in which she records her intimate thoughts and frequent delusions of happiness. Young Sheba (Cate Blanchett) joins the faculty and Barbara's fascination with her soon turns to obsessionion. When she discovers Sheba's affair with a student, Barbara agrees to keep the secret, but her unreasonable demands of Sheba's time and loyalty lead to disaster.

What a movie! It is absolutely wonderful. Both Dench and Blanchett were justly nominated for Academy Awards for their performances, and I couldn't take my eyes off of them. Dench plays a really sick, manipulating woman who does scary things, and yet has such a pathetic life one can't help but feel sorry for her. Blanchett has never looked more beautiful; she plays a complex woman with a seemingly happy family life who still feels unfulfilled, and looks for happiness from a young boy.

This film is well-written, insightfully directed, and the acting could not be better. Heartily recommended to those who enjoy emotional character studies.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SA Barratt on 9 July 2007
Format: DVD
This film showcases the fine talents of a strong female cast in Cate Blanchett, who plays Sheba Hart, the new art teacher at St George's in Islington, and Dame Judy Dench, who plays Barbara Covett, a brittle jaded veteran teacher nearing retirement who believes teaching is "crowd control" based on "cattle prods and prayer". The film is narrated via Barbara's diary. Narration, either in first or third person, is often used to help the screenplay to bridge the gap between the original book and the movie. In this case, Zoe Heller's book is adapted for the screen by Patrick Marber. Cate Blanchett is translucent as Sheba and it is not surprising that lonely spinster Barbara falls in love with her, obsessively so. Sheba's life, seemingly perfect to an outsider, includes a much older husband, droll witty Richard (Bill Nighy), and two teenagers, one with Down's syndrome. When Sheba confesses to Barbara of having an affair with a 15 year old Irish student, Steven Connelly, played by Andrew Simpson, Barbara subtly blackmails Sheba in to becoming her close confidante. By not reporting Sheba to the authorities, Barbara imagines she has a free reign to ask anything of Sheba and that "No-one can violate our magnificent complicity". When Sheba chooses her family over Barbara, Barbara leaks a rumour of Sheba's affair which is soon corroborated.

This is a tight psychological drama fuelled by Barbara's loneliness and dread of dying alone, at times, however, we expect her to start boiling Sheba's pet rabbit. Equally, Sheba's affair with her art student is driven by loneliness in her marriage and the thrill of being chased by a man, albeit 15 but hardly innocent.

This is a movie about lies, deceit, loneliness and naivity. I'd recommend it if human drama is your cup of tea.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. Datta on 23 Jun. 2007
Format: DVD
Notes On A Scandal [2006] is a well delivered and straight to the point drama. As suggested by the title, the movie is about a scandal emerging that affects all parties. To elaborate on this point, it involves a veteran teacher (Judi Dench), a fresh art teacher (Cate Blanchett), her husband ( Billy Nighy) and the school. So much is at stake here at the expense of a scandal, which are prestige, marriage and career. How does it end? That is the general gist of the story.

Notes on a scandal is a moving and psychological story about how one's behaviour can change the course of life dramatically. It is about marriage and friendship being really challenged through tough times. The acting to the movie is first class with Cate Blanchett, Judi Denchi and Bill Nighy offering electrifying performances to bring the characters to life. With the cast the calibre like this, it no wonders genuine credibility is added in the movie with regards to the storyline.

The reason for not awarding a full 5 star, is that the movie is little too thin and simple in terms of story and really open in the end. That my only criticism of the movie.

If you like and appreciate a good drama that offers a realistic portrayal of how's one actions and vulnerability in character can change a life into a bleak future, then this is one I would recommend. It is psychological thriller, which maybe not everyone cup of tea. Notes on a Scandal is worth watching for the subject matter it tackled and learn something from the movie.
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