Notes on a Scandal ★★★★

A skillfully crafted drama that is both captivating and disturbing. The intensity increases steadily as the story develops, and the movie ends on a somber note—in a sense, it ends where it began.

Stellar performances by the cast: top-notch, sparkling acting by Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, as expected, though I was most impressed with Andrew Simpson, who plays the young student Steven Connolly with whom Blanchett’s school teacher has an affair. Simpson and Blanchett have some tough scenes together and he handles them very well.