Chris Underwood’s review:
Most effective and gripping little movie with astonishingly believable performances in a very tricky area. Cate Blanchett is, for me, surprisingly good as the new teacher, married to an older guy and becoming drawn, very much so, to a 15 year old pupil. Andrew Simpson plays the lad and again most convincingly. He must have been pretty much the age he was playing and it shows. He does not have a lot of dialogue, but you never doubt that his testosterone is driving this relationship even if there are other factors. Of course it is ironic in this respect that he should be the only one unscathed by the hysterics to come. With the fine Judi Dench performance one is reminded of Beryl Reid lusting after Susannah York in Killing of Sister George, here Dench plays a much more determined and manipulating predator, with little of the sympathetic side of Reid. An intelligent and well written film with a good atmospheric score from Phillip Glass, this is most watchable and if the final minutes seem a little overblown on first viewing, I am perfectly happy to watch it again to double check.