Notes On A Scandal
Last night, with some other bloggers, I attended a screening of Notes On A Scandal, starring Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Nighy. The entire cast was brilliant, and I fully expect that Dench will justifiably receive her umpteenth Oscar nomination for her disturbing, yet riveting potrayal of a manipulative, delusional, treacherous closeted-lesbian school teacher. It's a performance that will stay with me a long time. And Cate Blanchett's child-molesting, philandering, priviledged novice art teacher will surely earn her rave notices.
That said, I hated Notes On A Scandal.
Oh, it's a brilliant "art" movie. Without revealing the plot, I'll grant that the film is gritty, it's realistic, and that the characters behave illogically and against their better interests, just like people do in real life. But as is often the case in real life, there was not one likable character in the movie, save perhaps Nighy's cuckolded husband. They were all dreadful people doing dreadful things to one another. My companion, Aaron, thought the movie trod the familiar British obsession with class distinctions, something he thinks Americans pretend not to notice. I just sat there wishing the worst on each character, and cringing from the crashing, relentless, nerve-wracking Phillip Glass score which only abated during Dench's voiceovers, which go on for about half of the film.
Incidentally, some critics have called this Dench's Whatever Happened To Baby Jane role, as she unvainly allows herself to be filmed without make-up, with ratted hair, and in stodgy schoolmarm costumes. I'm still digesting my opinion about Notes On A Scandal, and perhaps that's the hallmark of a well-made film, but for now I'll stick with what I said upon exiting the screening, "I'd pay to get OUT of a theatre playing that movie."
Notes On A Scandal opens nationwide December 27th. Watch the trailer here.