Monday, June 13, 2011
Notes on a Scandal
Director: Richard Eyre
Writer: Patrick Marber
The 2000s seemed to be big years for movies about teacher-student relationships. Of course, now that I say that I can't think of one, but it felt like there were a lot of movies on the subject matter coming out. I guess part of that had to do with the rise of news discussion about the real-life issues. Anyways, this is one of those movies.
But somehow, it isn't. The premise of the movie initially seems to be about a "perfect" young woman who teaches and inadvertently gets involved with one of her students. She finds herself supremely confused about the whole matter and comes to her older, wiser teacher friend for all kinds of support - and hopes she will keep the secret.
However, at some point the film changes completely enough so that the whole student-teacher relationship isn't even the focus of the film. It struck me as hugely weird that while in most films that plot point would be the focal point entirely that Notes on a Scandal does not take it as such. Sure, it's a big deal, but the real issues are buried underneath the surface and slowly come up until the end where the movie doesn't feel at all like it did at the start.
I really like that the film took the route it did. I wasn't expecting it at all. Maybe it's being overplayed, but it felt like a very large shift and one that no other films depicting the subject matter do. It was really quite something and I think I'd like to watch it again.