Besides The Departed, this is the best adapted screenplay of the year. From a terrific novel by Zoe Heller, Patrick Marber adapts another brilliant piece dealing with sex, affair and deceit. This plot is similar to Patrick Marber's 2004 screenplay of Closer, but different at the same time.
Two british film greats, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, star in this provocative drama. Judi being nominated for Best Actress at this year's Oscars and Cate, supporting actress. If Jennifer Hudson would have never sung her way to Oscar gold, Cate could have easily taken a second Oscar. Judi Dench was brilliant, too. Richard Eyre, who also directed Judi Dench in Iris, directs this film. He has not made many films in the past, but is now a respected director.
The plot goes (simply) like this: Sheba Hart (Blanchett) is the new art teacher at a high school where Barbara Covett (Dench) has been for a long time. They become close friends. Sheba is married with a family and one day after classes, Barbara discovers her having an affair with her 15 year old student. Barbara threatens to reveal her secret if Sheba won't spend more time with her. Barbara's obsession with Mrs. Hart leads to a downward spiral for both of them and in the end someone suffers greatly.
Terrific lines make for memorable scenes. "You think this is a love affair?!"
One of the best films of the year. This should not be missed by anyone.