February 3rd, 2007

I went to see "Notes of a Scandel" today.

I went to see "Notes of a Scandal" today. I had a very strange experience while I was watching it. I was brought up in part in London and attended a school near where my folks lived. After I graduated, I taught at a school just down the road from where they lived for a while and had a friend from school live with his folks nearby.

You can imagine my surprise when I realized the film I was watching was actually set in the school I taught at (Cate Blanchett plays a teacher who has an affair with a student). They've done the school up since I was there (it was in the 1990s that I taught there and had "1960s and 1970s tack" for desks), but, on occasions I would catch myself thinking "My teaching block was just round that corridor."

To make matters more surreal, my friend from school lived in the house that Blanchett used as a family home in the movie. The first time I was there I found myself thinking "Hang on a minute that's James Aird's house." It's been a while since I've been there but the "out house" that Blanchett used as an art studio at the back of the house (she plays a "trendy liberal art teacher") was the splitting image of the area my friend's folks used as an art-cum-photography studio (even though they moved out yrs ago).

So all in all the film (which focuses on the relationship between Blanchett, her husband, the child and a colleague who uncovers the illicit affair) wasn't bad but I'm not sure I got the same things out of it that others did. Incidentally I got a little irritated by one thing. The school is in a "nice neighborhood." The film makers didn't move it to "gang-banger central" territory, but they did put it in a rougher area of town. That irritated me a little.

Just in case anyone's interested, Zoe Heller, who wrote the book before the film was made, is a famous journalist in England who writes humorous "social commentary" pieces for newspapers.