Notes On A Scandal

Synopsis: The bitter, cynical and lonely Barbara Covett 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 her journal, taking care of her old cat Portia and missing her special friend Jennifer Dodd. When Sheba Hart 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, who is about twenty years older than she; her rebellious teenager daughter Polly; and her son Ben that has Down's Syndrome. Barbara becomes close to Sheba, but when she accidentally discovers that Sheba is having an affair with the fifteen year-old student Steven Connolly, Barbara sees the chance to manipulate
Genre: Crime, Drama, Romance
Director(s): Richard Eyre
Production: Fox Searchlight Pictures
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 68 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
92 min

[ Children Chattering ]

[ Woman Narrating ]

People have always trusted me with their secrets.

But who do I trust with mine?

You. Only you.

The first day of a new term.

Here come the local

pubescent proles...

the future plumbers

and shop assistants...

and doubtless the odd terrorist too.

[ Shouting, Chattering ]

In the old days, we confiscated

cigarettes and wank mags.

Now it's knives and crack cocaine.

And they call it progress.

[ Boy ]


- [ Boy ] Piss off!

- Tony. Tony.

Mrs. Hart, art department.

nails his 95 points...

to a church door

in Wittenberg-

[ School Bell Rings ]

[ Girl ]

Poison granny.

Piss off, you prick.

Before we begin, for those of you

who haven't delivered your reports...

please lob them

in my general direction.

Thank you, Bill.

Thank you, Mary.

Thank you, John.

Thank you, Elaine.

Ah. Has everyone met our new

art teacher, Sheba Hart?

- Hello.

- I've asked Sheba to sit in on this meeting.

As you all know,

I regard the arts...

as absolutely essential to our policy

of reform through nurture.

Thank you, Chris.

Very good. Very good.

Ah, thank you, Sue.

I say, that's a big one, isn't it?

I'll be up till the crack of dawn.

[ Chuckles ]

I'll be up till the crack of dawn.

[ Chuckles ]

Anyone else not handed in

their homework? Right.

And, uh, thank you.

Lovely. Thank you.


This is your report?

On the history department?

On its entire workings?

And your general thoughts

for its future development?

You'll find it's quite

thorough, Headmaster.

"The history department functions

much as one would expect...

"for a school of this

stature and intake.

"Examination results have been

consistent for 30 years...

"below the national average

but above the level of catastrophe.


No change necessary. "

Took me most of the summer

to write it.

[ Barbara Narrating ]

Hard to read the wispy novice.

[ Boy ]

Piss off, you prick.

Is she a sphinx or simply stupid?

All right. Off the phone, please.

Give me the phone.

- Artfully disheveled today.

- [ Chattering Continues ]

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.

- Stop it, girls. Just stop it.


[ Boy ]

Oi, oi. Pass it. Yes. Come over here. Very good.

- Yeah!

- [ Chattering ]

- [ Barbara ] Put your shirt on.

- I got the winner, miss.

Glory be! Shirt!

[ Boys Chattering ]

[ Barbara Narrating ] She has certainly

rippled the waters of our stagnant pond.

They flock to her.

Even limp little Brian had a go.

Oh, the horror.

- Hiya.

- Oh, hello.

- That's a lovely blouse.

- What? Oh!

[ Barbara Narrating ]

And "Fatty"Hodge has pounced on her.

A dubious double act.

The blonde and the pig in knickers.

I just went past the art studio.

It's like bloody Lord of the Flies in there.

- Have they gone for her?

- They've torn her posters down.

There's a full-on paint fight.

They're chanting,

"Get your tits out for the lads."

- Girls too. It's carnage.

- [ Man ] How was madam?

Completely lost it.

"Stop it! Stop it, you little f***ing bastards!"

- You should have stepped in.

- Well, he didn't want to patronize the little lady.

She'll be all right.

This time next year, she'll be headmistress.

- Oh, Christ! Will you shut up!

- Sorry. Sorry.

Char, anyone?

- Babs?

- Milk, no sugar.

- Sweet enough?

- Evidently.

- [ Chuckles ]

- Didn't her father invent inflation?

- You what?

- Wasn't her dad that academic, Donald whatsit?

Economics bloke.

Invented the word "inflation."

Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.

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Patrick Marber

Patrick Albert Crispin Marber (born 19 September 1964) is an English comedian, playwright, director, actor, and screenwriter. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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