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NOTES ON A SCANDAL
USA: Fox Searchlight
UK: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy, Andrew Simpson, Tom Georgeson, Michael Maloney, Joanna Scanlan, Shaun Parkes, Emma Kennedy, Syreeta Kumar, Phil Davis, Wendy Nottingham, Tameka Empson, Leon Skinner, Juno Temple, Max Lewis, Debra Gillett, Barry McCarthy, Julia McKenzie, Adrian Scarborough, Jill Baker, Diana Berriman, Alice Bird, Benedict Taylor, Miranda Pleasence, Jonathan Speer, Stephen Kennedy, Derbhle Crotty, Catherine Drew, Anne-Marie Duff
Director: Richard Eyre
USA: 98 mins
UK: 93 mins
USA Rated: R for language and some aberrant sexual content
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and sex references
USA Release Date: 29 December 2006 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 2 February 2007
One woman's mistake is another's opportunity.
A psychological thriller, NOTES ON A SCANDAL stars Dame Judi Dench as Barbara Covett, two women caught up in a drama of need and betrayal. The twists and turns of the story are noted in the acerbic diary of Barbara Covett (Dame Judi Dench), 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 (Cate 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.
In this age of loneliness, isolation and disconnect, we live in cities that house millions of people yet everyone at one time or another yearns for companionship.. This is the universal feeling that comes through in Zoë Heller's 2001 page-turner of a novel, What Was She Thinking: Notes On a Scandal, a suspenseful story of loneliness and obsession that cuts, with equal parts dark humor and realism, right to the shadowy center of the human yearning for connection.
The film is directed by Richard Eyre (STAGE BEAUTY, IRIS) with a screenplay by Patrick Marber (CLOSER) and adapted from Zoë Heller's Booker Prize-nominated novel. The film is produced by Scott Rudin and Robert Fox, who previously collaborated together on both IRIS and THE HOURS.