Notes on a Scandal (2006)
Judi Dench: Barbara Covett
Sheba Hart : What you say about me, about Richard - you're not fit to shine his shoes. And Ben, and Polly, that I'd be happier without them. Why did you do it?
Sheba Hart : Because I didn't help you collect your cat?
[slaps Barbara again]
Sheba Hart : You've cost me my family!
Barbara Covett : No, no, take some responsibility! I gave you EXACTLY what you wanted! You'd still be stuck in that marriage without me.
Sheba Hart : What?
Barbara Covett : You can't accept it yet, but...
Sheba Hart : You think I wanted to be here with you?
Barbara Covett : You need me, I'm your friend!
Sheba Hart : You put me in prison, I could get TWO years!
Barbara Covett : They'll fly by! I'll visit you every week! We've so much life to live together!
Sheba Hart : You think this is a love affair? A relationship? What, sticky gold stars, and - and a strand of my hair? A sticker from Pizza Express? It's a flat in the Archway Road and you think you're Virginia frigging Woolf! And where did you get my hair? Did you pluck it from the bath with some special fucking tweezers?
Barbara Covett : You know it's rude to read a person's diary, it's private!
Sheba Hart : We're not companions! We're not friends! You don't even like me!
Barbara Covett : That's not true, I only have tender feelings for you, only love!
Sheba Hart : You're barking, fucking mad. You don't know how to love. You have never, your whole life. Me, Jennifer Dodd. You're nothing but waste and disappointment! You bitter old virgin. You're lonely for a reason. They loathed you at school, all of them. I was the idiot who bothered, but only because no one told me you're a fucking vampire! So what is it, Bar? You want to roll around the floor like lovers? You want to fuck me, Barbara?
Barbara Covett : Please don't diminish our...
Sheba Hart : Our WHAT? What?
Barbara Covett : Give it back. I know you! Selfish and vain, you think you have a divine right! You don't belong in the world, you belong here! You big baby!
Barbara Covett : People like Sheba think they know what it is to be lonely. But of the drip, drip of the long-haul, no-end-in-sight solitude, they know nothing. What it's like to construct an entire weekend around a visit to the launderette. Or to be so chronically untouched that the accidental brush of a bus conductor's hand sends a jolt of longing straight to your groin. Of this, Sheba and her like have no clue.
Barbara Covett : People languish for years with partners who are clearly from another planet. We want so much to believe that we've found our other. It takes courage to recognise the real as opposed to the convenient.
[Barbara is upstairs, watching Sheba and Richard having a blazing row about her affair with Steven Connolly]
Barbara Covett : [voiceover] By the time I took my seat in the Gods, the opera was well into its final act.
Richard Hart : You're his teacher!
Sheba Hart : And you were mine! I'm not justifying. I'm not trying to justify it...
Richard Hart : You are so full of shit! It's totally different. You were twenty!
Sheba Hart : He's sixteen in May. He's not some innocent...
Richard Hart : Of course he's innocent! He's fucking fifteen! Are you insane? If you meant to destroy us, why not do it with an adult? That's the convention, it's worked for centuries!
[after her affair has become public knowledge, Sheba has moved out of her home and is staying with Barbara]
Barbara Covett : [voiceover] This last month has been the most delicious time of my life. Of course we have had our ups and downs. The pressure is intense when two women share their lives. But, oh, but what marvellous intensity it is! Circumstances are not always ideal. The swinish press, the stringent bail terms, meetings with lawyers and so on. But all things considered, we're coping admirably. In fact, gold stars abundant. The cuckold permits her to see their children once a week. Thee are usually tears and fits of teenage tantrums, too. In time she'll recognise she's just not the mothering kind, and then Barbara will be there to comfort her. Nurse, beloved friend and wise counsel.
Barbara Covett : Here come the local pubescent proles. The future plumbers, shop assistants, and doubtless the odd terrorist too. In the old days, we confiscated cigarettes and wank mags. Now it's knives and crack cocaine. And they call it progress.
Barbara Covett : When I was young I had such a vision of myself. I dreamed I'd be someone to be reckoned with, you know, in the world. But one learns one's scale. I've such a dread of ending my days alone. But recently, I've allowed myself to think that I may not be. Am I wrong?
[Barbara's first impressions of Sheba as she watches her in the playground]
Barbara Covett : [voiceover] Hard to read the wispy novice. Is she a sphinx or simply stupid? Artfully dishevelled today. The tweedy tramp coat is an abhorrence. It seems to say "I'm just like you." But clearly she's not. A fey person, I suspect.
Sheba Hart : When you started teaching, didn't you want to give them a real education to help overcome... the poverty of their backgrounds?
Barbara Covett : Oh yes, of course. Bu one soon learns that teaching is crowd control. We're a branch of the social services.
Sue Hodge : Console yourself with the gems. That's when it's satisfying. Then you can make a real difference.
Barbara Covett : The rest is just cattle-prod and pray.
Barbara Covett : I had expected a suave young lawyer, and two perfect poppets. Not so. She's married some crumbling patriarch, he's nearly as old as me. And there's the daughter, a pocket princess. And finally, a somewhat tiresome court jester.
Barbara Covett : She's the one I have waited for.
[talking about her cat]
Barbara Covett : Someone has died!
Barbara Covett : We are bound by the secrets we share.
[about the relationship between Steven and Sheba]
Barbara Covett : Well, that's when you should've stopped it.
Sheba Hart : I did! I told him I wouldn't teach him any more. But he refused to accept it, he just kept coming back. It began to feel like our secret, and well, secrets can be... seductive.
Barbara Covett : And Fatty Hodge pounced on her. A dubious double-act. The blonde... and the pig in knickers.
Barbara Covett : I couldn't possibly speak for Mrs Hart, but instinct tells me you might not be her type.
[Barbara's opinion of her male pupils]
Barbara Covett : [to Sheba] Little towers of testosterone. You'll soon get used to them.
Barbara Covett : When I was at school, if one of us had had some bad news or was a bit down, we used to stroke each other. You know, someone would do one arm and someone else the other. It was a wonderful sensation. Did you do that at your school?
Sheba Hart : [embarrassed] No.
[Barbara looks down at Sheba's cleavage]
Barbara Covett : It's incredibly relaxing - for the giver and the receiver.
[Barbara takes Sheba's hands in hers]
Barbara Covett : Close your eyes. It doesn't work if you don't.
[Barbara starts to stroke her fingers up and down Sheba's forearms]
Barbara Covett : That's a good girl.
[Sheba pulls away, her face showing revulsion]
Sheba Hart : I think that's enough.
Barbara Covett : No, close your eyes.
Sheba Hart : [firmly] I really think that's enough, Barbara.
Barbara Covett : [voiceover of Barbara writing in her diary] People trust me with their secrets. But who do I trust with mine? You, only you.
[Barbara demands that Sheba must come with her to see her cat put down. Richard tells her to get back in the car so they can go see their son in his school play]
Sheba Hart : [to Richard] Give me a minute, will you? I can handle this.
Barbara Covett : Oh, I'm to be "handled", am I? Like toxic waste. You see me on sufference. I'm an imposition to be tolerated.
[Barbara sees Sheba talking to Sue Hodge who is rather plump]
Barbara Covett : Ah, the blonde and the pig in knickers.
Barbara Covett : Judas had the dignity to hang himself, but only according to Matthew, the most sentimental of the apostles.
Barbara Covett : Her preference is for the younger man.
Richard Hart : [talking to Sheba about Barbara] Why is she ALWAYS here? What kind of fucking spell has she cast on you?
Barbara Covett : I don't like your tone.
Polly Hart : [to Richard] Ben's getting REALLY stressed, I think he's gonna BLOW!
Richard Hart : [to Sheba] Just get in the bloody car, will you?
[Sheba has just admitted to her affair with Steven]
Barbara Covett : [voiceover] And then I realised my fury had blinded me. There was a magnificent opportunity here. With stealth, I might secure the prize long-term, forever in my debt. I could gain everything by doing nothing.