We went to see the movie, Notes on a Scandal. It was really a wonderful piece of art. Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench were terrific. Anytime you can sit and watch a movie and believe that it is real that is when you know it is an excellent piece of cinematography.
Barbara (Judi Dench) is a cynical schoolteacher who is close to retirement. She is barely liked by her fellow teachers. Her private life consists mainly of taking care of her aging cat, and spending countless hours alone. Her main hobby is writing in her journal. When Sheba (Cate Blanchett), a younger, attractive woman, joins the faculty as an art teacher, Barbara watches her from afar and has nothing but critical things to say in her journal about her clothing and her care-free manner. Despite her scorn for Sheba, Barbara finds herself reaching out to her. Sheba accepts her friendship and invites her to dinner. Barbara goes out and shops for a good outfit and get her hair done for this occasion. Little does Barbara suspect that Sheba has a family. Barbara meets Sheba’s husband (Bill Nighy), who is twenty years her senior, and their two children, a rebellious 16-year-old daughter and a younger boy with Downs Syndrome. Barbara immediately sees them as competition to be beaten in the battle for Sheba’s attention.
Later, Barbara discovers Sheba in a classroom having sex with Steven (Andrew Simpson), a 15-year-old boy from the school, she realizes that knowledge of this secret gives her power over Sheba which she can use for her own purposes. Barbara confronts Sheba and makes her tell her the juicy details of the affair. Sheba thinks Barbara is going to turn her into the school board. Surprise, Barbara says she will not tell anyone but insists that the affair must end immediately. Sheba tries to end the affair but finds that she cannot. Sheba seems uneasy with Barbara’s friendship and is disturbed when she discovers the older woman might have a sexual interest in her. The relationship between the two women reaches a crisis point when Barbara has to put down her cat for humane reasons. Barbara begs Sheba to go with her to the vet. Sheba chooses to go with her family to see their son in a play instead. Barbara gets revenge by setting in motion hearsay of the scandal that affects both their lives traumatically.
The scary part of the movie was that last scene, where you get the chills and want to run and hide.