Sunday, September 16, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

... The story of two obsessions.

This is a desperately sad story about loneliness and quiet despair and the consequences of our actions and how they are different than what we can see as we stumble into the disaster.

Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench both inhabit their roles with an authority that forces the viewer to hear their characters, to reckon with them. The young man seems artlessly passionate, not even acting, which is perfect for a role where he is supposed to be visceral, not thoughtful. The husband is the only uneven note. Nighy does a good portrait and his pain is genuine and his anguish gripping, but we never quite connect to his person, we don't get close enough to relate to him on our own and we do not get enough information to know how we "should" relate to him. Maybe this is intended to demonstrate how Blanchett feels distanced from him - but we don't really get her reactions to him either ...

Other than that, and a certain aimlessness in the script, this is a beatifully acted, well scripted, delicately directed little gem.

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