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Director: Richard Eyre     Starring: Judi Dench Cate Blanchett
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Learn more about Notes on a Scandal:

Format: DVD
Sku: 204145783
UPC: 024543438915
UPC 14: 00024543438915
Category Keywords: Love  Love Affairs  Teachers  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
People Have Always Trusted Me with Their Secrets. But Who Do I Trust with Mine?
A pottery teacher enters into an affair with one of her students, causing upheaval in her personal and professional lives.

"A wicked delight...a melodrama of two women in the grips of wildly inappropriate obsessions, and a "Fatal Attraction"-style thriller.  David Ansen, Newsweek
"...this gripping drama...[is] both literate and urgently plotted, with a voice-over from Dench that cuts like broken glass.  J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"...a poison bonbon tastier than just about anything else out there.  Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...if you like your films strong, this one is not to be missed.  Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
"Oacks more heat, acid, danger and drama into its brief running time than most films of nearly double the length.  Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian
"Spellbinding. Explosive acting from Dench and Blanchett.  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Editor's Note
Dame Judi Dench and Kate Blanchett face off with searing performances in this riveting tale of obsession and desire. Based on the novel by Zoe Heller, NOTES ON A SCANDAL is the story of Barbara Covett (Dench), a hard-nosed spinster schoolteacher, and her poisonous friendship with fellow teacher Sheba Hart (Blanchett). When the young and beautiful Sheba shows up as the new art instructor, everyone is charmed by her, including the embittered Barbara. Barbara is thrilled when her lonely life is shaken up by Sheba's overtures of friendship, as Sheba invites her to share in family dinners, and opens up to her about her marital troubles and personal longing. Barbara narrates her own feelings of longing to us from her meticulous diaries, and it becomes increasingly clear that her take on the friendship is uncomfortably intense, if not borderline delusional. Things reach a fever pitch when Barbara happens upon Sheba dallying in the art room with a 15-year-old student. She tells Sheba that she must end the affair at once, but decides not to report her to the school, and instead, to use her knowledge of the indiscretion to draw Sheba closer to her, and put her in her debt. But when Barbara's demands on Sheba become too high, things soon unravel, setting off a chain of events that will leave viewers chewing their nails to the quick, but unable to tear their eyes away.

Both Blanchett and Dench are dazzling to watch as they deftly handle the barbed wit of Patrick Marber's screenplay. Directed by Richard Eyre of the Northern Theatre of London, and with a score by Philip Glass, NOTES ON A SCANDAL takes what could serve as mere tabloid fodder and plays it out on the level of Shakespearean tragedy.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 1.85:1, English, Subtitled, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Foxvideo
Video Release Date Release Date: 4/17/2007
Video Play Time Running Time: 121.333333333333 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2006
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 2243898
Video UPC UPC: 00024543438915
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  1.85:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review Notes on a Scandal - DVD
By: Don Willmott DVD Reviews
Published on: 4/6/2007 6:34 PM
If you don't already worship at the Church of Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal may be the film that causes your conversion. Dame Judi tears into the meaty role of secretive spinster teacher Barbara Covett with relish. You won't soon forget the look on her shriveled face as she commits outrageous acts of emotional blackmail. Narrated by Barbara from her own diary entries, what we have here is a classic case of a very unreliable narrator, but one with a quick the full review
Expert Review Notes on a Scandal - DVD
By: Edward Perkis Cinema Blend DVD Reviews
Published on: 4/16/2007 10:13 PM
Dench's Barbara is a perfectly realized character. A lifetime of loneliness (she is the stereotypical cat-lady) has made her so desperate for connection that she doesn't recognize her own obsessive behavior as unusual. That obsession, mixed with loneliness and a genuine dislike for most people, make her dangerous to anyone who makes the mistake of letting her get to close. It's a masterful performance. the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Bill Nighy
Video Cast Info Cate Blanchett
Video Cast Info Judi Dench
Video Cast Info Michael Maloney
Video Cast Info Antonia Van Drimmelen - Editor
Video Cast Info Chris Menges - Cinematographer
Video Cast Info Grant Armstrong - Art Director
Video Cast Info John Bloom - Editor
Video Cast Info Mark Raggett - Art Director
Video Cast Info Patrick Marber - Screenplay
Video Cast Info Philip Glass - Original Music By
Video Cast Info Redmond Morris - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Richard Eyre - Director
Video Cast Info Scott Rudin - Producer


Nominee (2007)
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Scott Rudin, et. al., Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film
   Video Award Name British Academy Awards, Judi Dench, Best Actress in a Leading Role
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Judi Dench, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
   Video Award Name Golden Globe, Cate Blanchett, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
   Video Award Name Oscar, Judi Dench, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
   Video Award Name Oscar, Cate Blanchett, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
   Video Award Name Oscar, Patrick Marber, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
   Video Award Name Oscar, Philip Glass, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score
   Video Award Name Screen Actors Guild, Judi Dench, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
   Video Award Name Screen Actors Guild, Cate Blanchett, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Oscar (2007)
   Video Award Name Cate Blanchett, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Golden Globe (2007)
   Video Award Name Cate Blanchett, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Screen Actors Guild (2007)
   Video Award Name Cate Blanchett, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

British Academy Awards (2007)
   Video Award Name Judi Dench, Nominee, Best Actress in a Leading Role

Golden Globe (2007)
   Video Award Name Judi Dench, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama

Oscar (2007)
   Video Award Name Judi Dench, Nominee, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Screen Actors Guild (2007)
   Video Award Name Judi Dench, Nominee, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

British Academy Awards (2007)
   Video Award Name Patrick Marber, Nominee, Best Screenplay - Adapted

Golden Globe (2007)
   Video Award Name Patrick Marber, Nominee, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture

Oscar (2007)
   Video Award Name Patrick Marber, Nominee, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay
   Video Award Name Philip Glass, Nominee, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

British Academy Awards (2007)
   Video Award Name Scott Rudin, et. al., Nominee, Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

Professional Reviews

Box Office
"The performances here are uniformly excellent, especially Dench's..." 12/01/2006 p.63

Rolling Stone
3 stars out of 4 -- "Dame Judi lets us know this is a women of dark secrets. It's spellbinding to watch her blow the lid off." 12/28/2006 p.121

Movieline's Hollywood Life
"Dench brings wit as well as vulnerability and menace to her depiction....The film is expertly crafted..." 01/01/2007 P.96

Total Film
3 stars out of 5 -- "Patrick Marber's script crackles when it comes to collisions of private life with public view." 07/01/2007 p.125

DVD Talk 8 of 10
Based on the novel "What Was She Thinking?" by Zoe Heller, "Notes on a Scandal" has been repositioned as an acting main event, pitting two of our best actresses against each other in a highly theatrical motion picture of Letourneauesque deviance and a "Fatal Attraction" level of obsession...That pungent smell of exploitation is exactly why "Notes" is so much fun. Watching these characters prey on each other's emotions and fears, vaulting back and forth between compassion and disgust, lends the film psychological thriller undertones that goes a long way to combating the picture abruptness...Portraying the most encrusted cat-lady of them all, Dench sinks her fangs into the spinster role, brandishing Marber's dialogue like a lethal weapon; she's Selma Bouvier with a sniper's rifle for a tongue. - Brian Orndorf 9 of 10
A sensational performance by Judi Dench anchors the surprisingly tense and, at times, deliciously lurid Notes on a Scandal. Adapted by Patrick Marber (Closer) from the novel by Zoe Heller, the film feels like a throwback to something Robert Aldrich might've directed in the 1960s. Notes is nowhere near as campy as, say, Aldrich's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? or even The Killing of Sister George (to which it bears a fair kinship), but it successfully pits two women--one weak, one strong--against each other in ways that are gripping, twisty, and memorably creepy...As its stands, Brit helmer Richard Eyre (Iris) has crafted an economical, highly effective suspense flick that knows precisely when to let all hell break loose. - Gary Goldstein

ReelViews 7 of 10
Notes on a Scandal is an attempt to make a Fatal Attraction type thriller for the art house crowd. With a cast that features two of today's best actresses - Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett - and a screenplay of uncommon literacy, the movie nearly achieves its aim. However, in order to propel circumstances to a conclusion, Notes on a Scandal relies upon a contrivance so ugly and obvious that it's impossible to ignore. This single glaring fault, which is even more evident considering how well constructed the rest of the movie is, damages the film's narrative flow and credibility...Much of the film's credibility results from the cast. Judi Dench once again reminds viewers how wide her range is. Consider that in roughly the last year, she has played the sprightly owner of a nude revue (Mrs. Henderson Presents), the head of MI6 (Casino Royale), and the twisted Barbara. She essays each role with such conviction that it's difficult to believe we're watching a single actress. Cate Blanchett's part is not as showy, but she gets an opportunity to play a sexual being, something not often offered to her...Notes on a Scandal contains interesting material and, as presented by Dench and Blanchett, the narrative gains strength and immediacy. However, the most important part of any thriller - even one as upper crust as this - is the resolution, and that's where Notes on a Scandal falls on its face. The ending itself isn't bad but the single act leading to it is unforgivable. Those who aren't bothered by this kind of contrivance (and, in many ways, it's no worse than what we have come to expect from thrillers with a lesser pedigree) may enjoy Notes on a Scandal. Others like me will wonder why the filmmakers couldn't have taken the few steps that would have elevated their project to something consistently smart and edgy. - James Berardinelli

The Onion A.V. Club 6 of 10
A lot is right about Notes On A Scandal, starting with Judi Dench's performance as a bitter spinster teacher, alternately enraged and titillated by the actions of a young colleague, Cate Blanchett, who has an affair with one of her teenage students. Dench takes the audience into her confidence, narrating from her diary as she uses her intimate knowledge to coerce Blanchett into becoming her friend--and maybe something even closer. But Dench is an unreliable narrator, so viewers can see what she can't: that Blanchett is such a fundamentally sweet woman that she'd probably have been Dench's friend anyway, and that Dench is the kind of miserably proper English lady who'd never admit to herself that she has sexual needs of her own...A lot is wrong about Notes On A Scandal too, starting with a frenetic Phillip Glass score that absurdly heightens nearly every scene in which it's used, squeezing the wit out of what might've been a wicked black comedy. Though maybe Glass was just taking his cues from director Richard Eyre and screenwriter Patrick Marber; in adapting Zoe Heller's novel, they've reduced these characters to their basest impulses, and made only the most facile, sophomore-psych-class-level attempts to understand them...Notes On A Scandal is extra-frustrating because it's mostly very smart, and full of keen observations about the differences between Dench's buttoned-down, disapproving generation and Blanchett's wide-open, accepting one, and how neither group is very happy with the choices they've made. (Bridging the gap: Bill Nighy, playing Blanchett's cuckolded husband as a man who wants to be cool but can't.) And Dench herself is a marvel, expressing both her character's deep loneliness and the obnoxious propriety that makes her so hard to like. But Eyre and Marber don't heed the cautionary example of their heroine. A movie about a woman who holds in her desires until she cracks shouldn't itself be so brittle. - Noel Murray

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Dench,Judi
Product attributeLabel:   Fox Home Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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