Notes On A Scandal (2006)

(In theaters, February 2007) As we all know, it doesn’t take a crime to be a bad person and Notes On A Scandal seems fascinated by this idea. Though there is a nominal crime at the heart of the story, it seems minor in comparison to the twisted mind games played by an older woman (Judi Dench) on a younger one (Cate Blanchett). Though the film disappoints in how it refuses to be spectacular, there is an unnerving quality to the film’s banal betrayals and how it represents the kind of toxic relationship that sometimes contaminate lives. Visually, there’s little to distinguish the film: It’s strictly movie-of-the-week territory. But the performances are interesting, and the “banality of evil” theme is unusual enough to warrant some attention.

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