This bitter brew of English bile, adapted by playwright Patrick Marber from Zoe Heller's acclaimed novel, What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal
and directed by Richard Eyre, is first and foremost a showcase for bitch-perfect performances by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Or perhaps that's Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench: They're so perfectly matched that it's impossible to put one before the other.
History teacher Barbara Covett (Dench) is the embodiment of the bitter old English schoolmarm, sturdily efficient, utterly contemptuous of authority — because who, after all, knows better than she — and ruthlessly pragmatic about her lower-class middle-schoo...