Notes on a Scandal

Judi Dench is an ultra-creepy stalker in this well-acted drama about a reclusive schoolteacher (Dench) who develops an unhealthy attraction to the new art teacher (Cate Blanchett) at her workplace. Blanchett’s character, a married woman with children, starts having an affair with an underage student, and Dench’s character opts to take advantage of the situation. Without going into too much detail, I’ll say that blackmail comes into play. It’s nice to see Dench playing someone scary, and it’s not much of a surprise to see that she’s a master at it. Blanchett is terrific as a teacher with a morality problem, which is also not a surprise. Also deserving praise would be Bill Nighy, who steals scenes as Blanchett’s loving and older husband. When Nighy’s character gets the news about his wife’s affair and confronts her, it’s one of 2006’s best movie scenes.

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