Notes on a Scandal

2006 R 1h 32m DVD

Notes on a Scandal

2006 R 1h 32m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
When a pottery instructor dives into an illicit affair with a teenage student, she crafts a sticky situation that spells turmoil for herself and a fellow teacher. A faculty member connects with the pretty new art teacher, but soon learns her secret.
Cate Blanchett, Bill Nighy, Judi Dench, Andrew Simpson, Juno Temple, Max Lewis, Alice Bird, Tameka Empson, Emma Kennedy, Anne-Marie Duff
Richard Eyre
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French: Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 17+
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this adult-targeted drama (which probably won't have much appeal for teens anyway) features mature themes and some sexual imagery. Specifically, a female teacher, Sheba, has sex with her 15-year-old male student, and the footage is fairly explicit (heavy breathing and rolling on ground; the teacher in her bra, kneeling and touching the boy's torso). The movie's other predominant sexual theme concerns a fellow female teacher's crush on Sheba, which inspires amorous dreams and comments in her diary, as well as some social machinations (she betrays a friend, spreads rumors, and judges her peers). Boys fight at school; the teachers fight, too (slapping and pushing). Characters drink beer, wine, and liquor (in a flashback, Sheba drinks beer with the student) and smoke cigarettes. Language includes some 15 uses of "f--k," plus "s--t" and "arse," in addition to some name-calling ("fatty," "pig," "tart," etc.).

Sexual Content

Sheba and Steven appear partly unclothed (most images are discreet or dark, but plain about their sexual acts) in a couple of scenes; some cleavage shots; some kissing; sexual slang, allusions, and references ("wank mags," "porno," "c--t," "t-ts," "dick," "f--k"). A major storyline is one female character's obssessive crush on another.


Fighting between two male students; Steven's mother slaps Sheba; hectic scene with press "thronging" Sheba outside her home (she cries, the camerawork is frantic); Barbara and Sheba fight (slapping, falling into furniture, crying).


At least 15 uses of "f--k," as well as other language, like "s--t," "hell," "bollocks," "bastard," and sexual slang (including "dick," "t--s," and "c--t"); some name-calling ("fatty," granny," "pig," "tart"), as well as some Britishisms ("wank," "arse," "sod-all").

Social Behavior

A teacher has an affair with her 15-year-old student; an older teacher manipulates the younger teacher -- both betray each another and those around them; both are also self-deluding, though one comes to understand herself more deeply.


Nokia cell phone.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Characters drink (wine and beer) on multiple occasions, sometimes to drunkenness; Barbara smokes cigarettes repeatedly; Steven smokes a few times; a girl (Sheba's stepdaughter) smokes once; reference to "crack cocaine" background characters smoke and drink in bars.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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