Friday, November 8, 2013

Notes on Notes on a Scandal

We all have secrets... some of us have big secrets & some of us have small ones. But we all have them, that to me is what makes the movie, "Notes on a Scandal" so powerful. That & the acting. Judi Dench & Cate Blanchett give such great performances. It's not a new movie, it's from 2006 & today wasn't the first time I watched it, but after watching it for the second time realized once again just how good this movie is. It tells the story of a woman named Barbara (Judi Dench)a lonely close to retirement aged teacher. She has few real friends or relationships. The closest friend she has is her cat. Her cat & her "diary" that is. A diary she writes everything in. Barbara develops a "crush" on Sheba a new much younger teacher at the school. You learn this isn't the first time she's felt this way towards a female co-worker. Sheba(Cate Blanchett)is a pretty mother & wife. Her husband is much older than she is, & she has been a stay-at home mom caring for her two children since their births.. one of whom has Down Syndrome. She is at a stage of life where she's looking for something more for her self, as she feels she's been giving to everyone else for forever. Meanwhile, Barbara is desperately trying to gain Sheba's friendship to fulfill the fantasy she has of real relationship w/ her. All of Barbara's feelings get written down in her diary. So when Sheba invites Barbara over to lunch, (a friendly gesture but nothing more...) Barbara happily accepts & uses it as a platform to intertwine herself into Sheba's life in the hopes this will lead to a real relationship w/ Sheba. But when Barbara discovers that Sheba is having a sexual relationship with one of the students, a young boy aged 15. She uses this information as "leverage" to get Sheba to not only stop the relationship with the boy, but also as a way to control Sheba & gain her trust because she didn't turn her in. Sheba knows it's wrong what she is doing with the boy, but knowing that isn't enough to make her stop it. She can't seem to resist him or more importantly the feelings he apparently has awakened in her, no matter how wrong or illegal. When Barbara finds out that Sheba hasn't stopped being with the boy, & when she feels that Sheba isn't giving her the attention she craves, what consequences will there be? All the characters in this movie are so flawed, which makes them powerful & fascinating. Give this movie a try. It will definitely be one to talk about long after the credits end.

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