Notes on a Scandal (Eyre, 2006)

Subtlety gets pushed under a bus in this melodramatic mess from director Richard Eyre. Notes on a Scandal, boasting multiple Oscar nominations and a slew of critical praise, surprisingly disappoints in almost every respect. Over-hype aside, the film cannot exceed on even the most tertiary level – it’s acting frightfully overcooked, it’s direction one note and banal, and Philip Glass’ score makes John Williams look sly. It’s baffling to think why this film has obtained almost universal praise, especially for the usually amazing Cate Blanchett, who’s whiney and insecure art teacher wretchedly and unbelievably overplays her cards, even in the face of sex scandal with a student. We’re supposed to see Judi Dench’s manipulator as the monster, but her Barbara comes across as the most with it of anyone. This somber and dull Scandal has many fooled with it’s high octane pedigree and high class buzz. In terms of thrillers, it only deserves a glancing kick to the shin.

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