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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Notes on a Scandal


Well, well, well… I was prepared to watch an awful story/movie after reading some not positive comments in sites like Afterellen and similar, but the story it is not bad at all and the movie is just full of incredible performances by outstanding actors.

Judi Dench is just superb, magnificent, and so many more superlative adjectives. Cate Blanchett is brilliant! What a pair of great actresses, with these roles and performances they went above heaven. Miss Blanchett gave no supporting role; she gave a leading role performance along with Miss Dench. Is Bill Nighy with his charm turned into desperation that gives an outstanding performance in a supporting role.

This is a good drama and not a psychological thriller like the director and others called it. Maybe because the director visualized like that, that he used very thrilling music to intensify some moments, but that just make me laugh!! Bad music choice; it was like watching the Killing of Sister George or The Fox type of music!! Besides, the camera moved just like in those movies trying and succeeding to accentuate the sexual attraction one felt for the other and this just made me laugh too. And yes, it makes me think about those movies and how different this one could have been without the psychological thriller intent.

Yes, Judi Dench character Barbara is a predatory monster that lives in an inner fantasy world; a world that she constructed to protect herself from releasing her true desires for a complete relationship with other women. Barbara is chilly and mean. Saying that Judi Dench portraits a lesbian is inaccurate and I say this not because she had no sexual relations with women, but because the character had not even the slightest idea of what is to be a lesbian.

By coincidence in a recent cable TV show episode there is a scene where four lesbians are trying to explain what a lesbian is to the husband of a woman that, after 23 years of marriage, “discovered” that she was a lesbian. The husband was clueless, he thought it was about the sex and probably became more clueless when they explained that it was not about the sex, it is much more than sex, it is about the relationship!!

Barbara had no idea on how to relate to others, much less to a woman in an intimate way. She was relationship incapable and again, to protect herself, she created a world that lived in her head and became more real when she wrote her diary. And of course, she created the monster she was, she was her own creation.

I tend to believe that this could have been a great masterpiece if the director had chosen to tell the story as it is, a strong drama, and left out all those awful effects that only distracts the viewer from the story and impregnates a sensationalism tone. The performances absolutely save the movie and that is why I really enjoyed and liked this movie.

I cannot help but share with you that this movie is just like Loving Annabelle as it had so many similarities!! Besides the teacher/student story and the legal liability, it had the bathtub scene… okay I wont go on, as it sounds like sacrilege, but would it have been nice if Loving Annabelle had a production budget and cast performances as Notes?

Last, if by any chance you are wondering why I think about The L Word and Loving Annabelle when watching this movie, just remember that the woman Barbara had troubles before is called Jennifer and the last woman with her in the bench is called Annabelle!

I wish I could read the book, as I am sure I will enjoy it much more than the movie and now I have the images of Judi Dench Barbara’s and Cate Blanchett Sheba’s in my head, so what could be better?

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