A veteran high school teacher befriends a younger art teacher, who is having an affair with one of her fifteen-year-old students. However, her intentions with this new "friend" also go well beyond a platonic friendship.
Bitter, cynical, and lonely Barbara Covett (Dame Judi Dench) is a tough and conservative teacher, near to retirement, who is loathed by her colleagues and students. In the loneliness of her apartment, she spends her spare time writing in her journal, taking care of her old cat Portia, and missing her special friend Jennifer Dodd. When Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) joins the high school as the new art teacher, Barbara dedicates her attention to the newcomer, writing sharp and unpleasant comments about her behavior and clothes. When Barbara helps Sheba in a difficult situation with two students, the grateful Sheba invites her to have lunch with her family. Sheba introduces her husband and former professor Richard Hart (Bill Nighy), who is about twenty years older than her; her rebellious teenager daughter Polly (Juno Temple); and her son Ben (Max Lewis), who has Down's Syndrome. Barbara becomes close to Sheba, but when she accidentally discovers that Sheba is having an affair with ...Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Jason Reitman read the script and wanted to direct it. He called up the producers on the phone with the intention of getting the job. The producers answered: "We are in editing right now, but I hope you'll like the film when it comes out." See more »
When Brian and Barbara are sitting at her table, Barbara's cigarette has an inconsistent length. See more »
[voiceover of Barbara writing in her diary]
People trust me with their secrets. But who do I trust with mine? You, only you.
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Written by Toots Hibbert (as Frederick Hibbert)
Performed by Toots & The Maytals (as Toots and the Maytals)
Produced by Leslie Kong
Reproduced by kind permission of Blue Mountain Music Ltd.
Administered by Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd. (c) 1971
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under licence from Universal Music Operations Ltd.
Courtesy of D&F Music Frederick Hibbert See more »
tense twisted story
Certainly a very stylish drama, riveting and brilliant, rising above the modern-day thrillers due to stunning performances of two very gifted actresses. It's both dramatic and funny, Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett are delicious and so talented that they turn a misanthrope cat and mouse game into a politically correct entertaining account. This strong emotional battle is not only something about teacher-student sex, it's also an obsessing blackmail. Without exaggerating it could be deemed "memorable", as revelations abound, tempers flare all the time and every single confidence is shared. Never boring and deep.
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