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Blanchett, Dench shine in "Notes on a Scandal"

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 11:31 AM

It's not often I watch back-to-back movies that are outstanding, but I recently did.

The first was "Notes on a Scandal" starring Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

It almost goes without saying any movie featuring these two actresses is going to be top-notch.

Everything Judi Dench touches turns to gold and the same can practically be said for Blanchett.

Blanchett stars in one of my all-time favorite movies, "Oscar and Lucinda."

Anyway, "Notes" has a tough plot and isn't for the children.

It involves an old-school teacher (Dench) and a newbie (Blanchett) who form a weird friendship. I call it weird because Blanchett is really just trying to be nice and Dench really wants more than friendship.

Blanchett has the misfortune of starting an affair with one of her students a 15-year-old boy. Dench discovers this affair and completely blackmails Blanchett with the information.

Dench's character is truly terrifying. It almost seems she toys with everyone in the film until the end. Some critics say she's the best villain since Kathy Bates and "Misery."

The movie really shows that choices have consequences, something many people have forgotten nowadays.

Game 2 of the film doubleheader was "Little Children," starring Kate Winslet, Patrick Wilson and Jennifer Connelley.

First off, "Little Children" is definitely not for children.

The movie shows how lonely surburban life can be. It also reminds me of a line from "Notes on a Scandal" where Dench tells Blanchett most people just marry or stay in relationships out of convenience. I know people like this. This could be any local neighborhood.

Winslet is married to a man much older than her and with a multitude of issues.

Wilson is married to the Connelley character who is constantly on him about making something of his life which he should so but namely, passing the bar exam.

Wilson and Winslet meet at the park where they take their children and eventually hook up.

The film is filled with interesting side characters such as a man who spent some time in prison for indecent exposure and a football buddy of Wilson's who may have more issues than anyone else in the film.

Both films have good, but neither has a shocking conclusion.

In other news, I saw "Borat" about a month ago. I wanted to write a review, but I'm not sure I know how to describe what I saw. I'll sum it up like this. A friend of mine watched the first 30 minutes and I talked to him before he watched the remainder of the film. He said it's the kind of movie he needed to watch with a diaper on.

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