Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Notes on a Scandal

A scene from "Caged Heat III"

As Country Mouse said last night as we left the theatre, "I don't know if it was meant to be one, but that was the best black comedy I've seen for a long time."

Perhaps it is meant to be a drama and we were meant to take it seriously. But I had much more fun with Notes on a Scandal when I realized quite quickly that the whole film was camper than a row of tents. In more than one scene it reminded me of The Killing of Sister George or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Whatever the intentions of the director and the screenwriter, Judy Dench was intent on having a rip-roaring time playing a "villain" so arch I expected the film to end with her wrestling Adam West and Burt Ward over a vat of fluorescent green chemicals.

I'm not going to review the film in its entirety (Listmaker does a good job of that here). Instead I want to note that if I am to ever be reincarnated as a bitter and twisted psychotic middle aged woman I want to come back as Judy Dench in an endless loop of the 10 second shot in which she drives maniacally through a wet London night with her face resembling an electrocuted carp and Philip Glass strings booming urgently in the background, all the while being filmed from a slight angle.


mainelife said...

I adored this film, but I've never admitted that before. Most of my friends hated it. Now I can assume (claim?) that they "just didn't get it."

msdee said...

I just saw notes ona scandal and couldnt agree with you more. It was very lifetime movie and I felt uncomfortable watching the lovescenes with ther and the teen who must be of legal age in real life. right?

weasel said...

Well Ms Dee, the kid and Cate were only acting.

I thought it was a good film, but that lots of folks missed the gag (like Mainelife notes). Bear in mind that the screenwriter Patrick Marber- although a deadly serious playwright- was also one of Steve "Alan Partridge" Coogan's original collaborators.

Maybe as a Brit watching a British film I picked up on different things, but I couldn't see how anyone could miss the rich vein of dark humour that ran through the whole thing.

msdee said...

I guess I missed the dark humor.
I suppose my viewpoint would be common among non-Brits it's a pity

I do know that the kid and Cate were acting :)