A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her 15-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond platonic friendship.
1.85 : 1
Rated R for language and some aberrant sexual content.
Teacher, Student, Cat, Friend, Art Teacher
DTS, SDDS, Dolby Digital
Melodrama, Psychological Drama
Blackmail, Infidelity, Scandals and Cover-ups, Dangerous Attraction, Keeping a Secret, Stalkers, Faltering Friendships, Teachers and Students, Voyeurs
Tense, Lurid, Sexual, Ominous
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
Notes on a Scandal is a 2006 British psychological thriller film, adapted from the 2003 novel of the same name by Zoë Heller. The screenplay was written by Patrick Marber and the film was directed by Richard Eyre. Many parts of the film were shot in Islington Arts and Media School. The soundtrack was composed by Philip Glass.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
Barbara Covett (Judi Dench) teaches history at a comprehensive school in London. A lonely old spinster, Barbara's only "intimate relationship" is with herself by means of a diary. When a new, younger teacher Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) starts at the school, Barbara feels drawn to her and believes that she "may be the one." Barbara discovers that Sheba is having an affair with a student, Steven Connolly (Andrew Simpson), and confronts her. When Sheba asks her to not tell the school administration until Christmas so that she can be with her family, Barbara explains she has no intention of telling, as long as she ends the relationship. However, Sheba does not end the affair with Steven, causing Barbara to taunt her emotionally and draw her down, leading her to end the affair with Steven. In months passing, Barbara's grasp on Sheba slowly starts to take hold, with Barbara manipulating and emotionally blackmailing her, causing her attentions to be divided between her family and Barbara.
When Barbara's cat dies and Sheba's loyalties are easily divided, Sheba's husband Richard shouts in anger that her friend is being an evident pain and that his wife is being twisted by Barbara. Alone and feeling betrayed, Barbara seeks revenge by revealing Sheba's affair to a fellow teacher who comes to her asking her if Sheba is interested in him. The fellow teacher spreads the "playground rumour" to Steven's mother. Mrs. Connolly then comes to Sheba's home and hits Sheba. Afterwards, Sheba and her husband Richard bitterly argue. In Barbara's voiceover, she reveals she is glad that they are arguing, knowing that Sheba will come to her for comfort, which had been Barbara's plan to start with. The next day, the media, as well as the school administration, are alerted, and Sheba's affair and her life are turned upside down by the collapse of her marriage, the destroyed relationship with her children and the loss of her job. Barbara is fired from the school after denying to the headmaster that she knew of the relationship; he confronts her with a copy of a restraining order taken out against Barbara by another fellow teacher whom she had previously befriended.
Sheba ends up moving into Barbara's house, believing that the affair became known because Steven confessed it to his mother, but Sheba soon finds Barbara's diary and learns that it was Barbara who leaked the story of the affair, on account of the rather sexual attraction Barbara seems to have for her. When Barbara returns from a shopping round, she is confronted by a furious Sheba, who strikes her in anger. Barbara says she has done her a favour by getting her out of a hopeless marriage. The two of them continue to shout and fight with one another, and Sheba claims that Barbara never really liked her, but in fact manipulated her for her own personal needs. Sheba runs outside with Barbara's journal, to streams of reporters and photographers. She shouts at them in a deluded fashion, but becomes hemmed in by a crush of reporters and photographers, at which point Barbara rescues her. Sheba's emotions spent, she quietly tells Barbara that she had initiated the friendship because she had liked her (Barbara) and they could have been friends. Barbara says she needs more than a friend.
Sheba leaves Barbara, placing the journal on the table. Sheba returns to her family home. Richard answers the door. The two face one another silently for several moments, and then Richard allows her to enter.
Sheba is sentenced to 10 months, and the last scene is Barbara meeting another younger woman who is reading a newspaper reporting the Sheba Hart affair. Barbara says she used to know Sheba, but then says she didn't know her well. Barbara quickly introduces herself, and the other woman introduces herself as Annabel. The pair continue to talk. Barbara mentions attending a classical concert and invites Annabel to join her.
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