• R, 1 hr. 31 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Richard Eyre
    In Theaters:
    Dec 25, 2006 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 17, 2007
  • Fox Searchlight Pictures

Opening

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Notes on a Scandal Reviews

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Blanchett has also recently appeared in The Good German and Babel, but this represents far and away her best work.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A

February 9, 2007
Melissa Anderson
Time Out New York
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Richard Eyre's direction merely plays up the melodramatic aspects of ZoŽ Heller's novel, screenwriter Patrick Marber's acidic dialogue occasionally slips into the overwritten, and the rest of the cast gamely chews table scraps.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

February 3, 2007
Jessica Winter
Time Out
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Bill Nighy is stunning in the small but pivotal role of Sheba's devastated husband, and Dench locates the desperate pathos in Barbara's malevolence.

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 25, 2007
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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This compact, fierce and frightening domestic thriller is the most violent film in many a day. The rage is in the angry words, the deepest thoughts of its 'heroine,' and the fear about what might come from those words is palpable.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

January 12, 2007
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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While Glenn Close played her Fatal Attraction character's 'I will not be ignored' psycho-obsession out front and out loud, Dench does it as subtext, making it all the more insidious, frightening ... and fascinating.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: A-

January 11, 2007
David Denby
New Yorker
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In England, it seems, actresses have nothing to fear from age. They can simply wait for writers to create fresh work for them.

January 8, 2007
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Patrick Marber's adaptation of the ZoŽ Heller novel improves upon the promise of the [Dench/Blanchett] pairing with a story that wastes no time on preliminaries as it descends -- gleefully -- into pitch-black comedy.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

January 5, 2007
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Notes on a Scandal emerges as a remarkable character study: difficult to watch, impossible to look away.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 5, 2007
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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Notes on a Scandal's resolution is a bit less challenging than the finale of Heller's novel, but for the most part it's equally scathing, a nasty little peek into the worst of human behavior.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 5, 2007
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Dramatic overstatement saturates just about every piece of this production. Even that master of orchestral pop minimalism, Philip Glass, managed to write a score that slinks into the dark shadows of old gothic witchery.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

January 5, 2007
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Almost unbearably tense as the relationship between cat and mouse takes completely unexpected, if completely believable, turns.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

January 5, 2007
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Notes on a Scandal may not always be deeply illuminating, but [director Richard] Eyre adds enough pathos and emotional realism to keep the movie from curdling into a snide joke.

| Original Score: B

January 5, 2007
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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The writers and the actors have just enough sympathy for their characters to keep Notes from deteriorating into a comedy of horrible manners.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 4/4

January 5, 2007
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Ms. Dench is scary good, a collection of withering glances and quiet delusion accentuated by a wickedly funny voice-over. Ms. Blanchett matches her step for step.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

January 5, 2007
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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The movie serves as a convenient locale for Dench and Blanchett to showcase their abilities, but it could be more involving.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 4, 2007
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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It's a thrill to see powerhouse actresses lock horns in an emotional battle royal, and Notes on a Scandal gives us two of England's finest in pitched combat.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 4, 2007
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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Setting aside the scads of preposterous plot contrivance, Patrick Marber's screenplay is full of jaundiced cleverness about England's class system, but that's far from enough to save this disreputable movie.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

January 4, 2007
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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It's a poison bonbon tastier than just about anything else out there.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A

January 3, 2007
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The skillful Patrick Marber adapted this gripping drama from a novel by Zoe Heller, and it's both literate and urgently plotted, with a voice-over from Dench that cuts like broken glass.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

December 29, 2006
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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The screenplay has a bracing tincture of Grand Guignol, and nothing is simple when the two women are played by a couple of superlative actresses who clearly delight in one another.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

December 29, 2006
Noel Murray
AV Club
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A lot is wrong about Notes On A Scandal, 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.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

December 28, 2006
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
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Notes on a Scandal won't be everyone's cup of tea. But if you like your films strong, this one is not to be missed.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

December 27, 2006
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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[Features] a point of view that is somewhat gimlet-eyed and offered with absolutely no sentimentality whatsoever.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 27, 2006
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A tour de force performance by Judi Dench drives the film, but Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy also are marvelous in powerful, if more restrained, roles.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

December 27, 2006
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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If you want to see explosive acting, just watch Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett ignite in this film version of Zoe Heller's 2003 novel.

| Original Score: 3/4

December 27, 2006
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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A refreshingly literate, cold-blooded drama.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 4/4

December 27, 2006
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett star in a misanthropic game of cat and mouse from which no one emerges unscathed, including saps like us who think we're watching a film about other people.

| Original Score: 3/5

December 27, 2006
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Notes on a Scandal is a great cure for a holiday hangover. See it.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

December 27, 2006
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
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Sexy, aspirational and post-politically correct, Notes on a Scandal could turn out to be the Fatal Attraction of the oughties.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

December 27, 2006
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The film itself settles for one level of pulp satisfaction, but Dench and Blanchett transcend it.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

December 27, 2006
Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun-Times
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It is a chilling, memorable performance by Dame Judith, who will earn many award nominations, as should Blanchett. They are the perhaps the most impressive acting duo in any film of 2006. And Bill Nighy is their equal.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

December 27, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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You'll want to take a shower after Notes on a Scandal, but you'll be glad you got dirty.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 27, 2006
David Germain
Associated Press
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It's a grand thing to watch these two Academy Award winners, who easily could be back in Oscar contention with this film, have at each other.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

December 26, 2006
Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
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Everyone's a predator in this tale.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 26, 2006
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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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.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 26, 2006
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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When an actress raises the bar of her craft as vertiginously high as Judi Dench, it can be a bit dizzy-making for an audience whenever she insists on topping herself.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 26, 2006
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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This being Oscar season, we must point out that Dench and Blanchett are two of your finalists.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 26, 2006
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Notes on a Scandal is another squirm-und-drang movie: too creepy-sad to be a comedy, too intense to watch quietly, without letting out frequent whoops.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

December 18, 2006
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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An exquisitely dark comedy of manners and morals.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

December 13, 2006

TIME Magazine
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Dench is nothing less than great in this role. It's hard to recall a recent performance of such unrelenting ferocity, such a thoroughgoing devotion to the domination of another life.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

December 11, 2006
David Ansen
Newsweek
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Notes on a Scandal is a wicked delight.

December 11, 2006
Justin Chang
Variety
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A deviously entertaining account of one woman's indiscretions as related by a not-so-disinterested third party.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 8, 2006
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The scandal is the misogynist tone taken toward this film's female characters.

December 8, 2006
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