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Movie Review: Notes on a Scandal

Alternate Title: Obsession

Story: Women behaving badly makes for delicious and juicy storytelling.

This outstanding and nerve wracking film directed by Richard Eyre (Iris, Stage Beauty) with a screenplay by Patrick Marber from the 2003 book by Zoe Heller is filled with melodrama. It is the stuff of which day time soaps are made. And I loved every riveting scene stealing minute of it.

What could be more fun than watching two of the best actresses on today's screen dueling it out. Sheba is a beautiful new art teacher who is caught in flagrante delicto with a 15 year old student by battle axe history teacher Barbara. The deceptions begin. How Barbara insinuates herself into Sheba's life and family, how she manipulates, fantasizes and obsesses is engrossing film making.

The story is filled with passion, sexual repression, lurid details, scandal, inappropriate behavior and forbidden liaisons. How sweet it is.

The voice-over, which normally bothers me - was sheer perfection. Did I believe the story? Who cares? It was delectable and thoroughly entertaining. Bravo!

Acting: Judi Dench delivers another knock your socks off performance. She exposes every line and wrinkle in her beautiful crusty face. She was glorious. I think Cate Blanchett is the best actress on screen today and she was outstanding as the fallen art teacher. She glowed. Bill Nighy, as the beleaguered husband is fabulous as is the entire supporting cast.

Predilection: I like both Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett and think that director Richard Eyre treats women on screen as well as Pedro Almovodar.

Critters: A sick kitty named Portia.

Food: A Christmas meal or two.

Blatant Product Placement: Krispy Kreme

Soundtrack: An amazing and edgy track by Philip Glass

Opening Titles: Simple type.

Visual Art: Some drawings by the young male student and some bad pottery.

Theater Audience: Packed on opening day.

Weather: The weather was surprisingly good for London.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: This topic might bother some people but not me.

Drift Factor: Not for a nanosecond.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Absolutely

Big Screen or Rental: Treat yourself to the big screen for this scope of melodrama and acting.

Length: Under two hours.