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Notes on a Scandal [2006] [R] - 7.3.6



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Unlike the MPAA we do not assign one inscrutable rating based on age, but 3 objective ratings for SEX/NUDITY, VIOLENCE/GORE and PROFANITY on a scale of 0 to 10, from lowest to highest, depending on quantity and context.

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Sex & Nudity
Violence & Gore
1 to 10


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A new teacher (Cate Blanchett) at an English high school becomes embroiled in an affair with one of her young students, and a colleague (Judi Dench) who discovers her secret, decides to use this information to insinuate herself into the woman's life. Also with Bill Nighy, Tom Georgeson, Michael Maloney and Joanna Scanlan. Directed by Richard Eyre. [1:31]

SEX/NUDITY 7 - A woman caresses a teenage boy's face, he caresses hers, they kiss, they lie back on a blanket on the ground and have sex (we hear moaning and see her bare legs wrapped around him as he thrusts).
 A woman and a teenage boy kiss and have sex: he thrusts on top of her, and we see her bare legs and hear them moaning. A woman and a teenage boy kiss and have sex (we do not see the act).
 A woman sees another woman in a lace bra kissing a teenage boy and moving down toward his genitals, where it is implied that she performs oral sex on him.
 A woman dresses in provocative clothing and makeup, with dark lipstick and eyeliner and fishnet stockings, and presents herself to the press, which is gathered outside her door. A woman lies nude in a bathtub and her bare shoulders and knee are visible. A woman wears a low-cut dress that reveals cleavage.
 A husband and wife kiss. A husband and wife and a boy dance together, and a woman watches and appears to be admiring the woman swaying her hips.
 A woman caresses another woman's arm tenderly. A woman appears to be attracted to another woman.
 A boy makes suggestive remarks about a female teacher.

VIOLENCE/GORE 3 - A woman strikes another woman in the face three times and shoves a man out of the way. A woman slaps another woman in the face twice, yells at her and shoves her against a wall.
 Two boys fight with shoving and end up wrestling on the floor before the fight is broken up.
 A teenage boy watches a woman, follows her and pounds on her door angrily (she is frightened and he leaves).
 A woman talks of confiscating knives in a school. A teenage girl is depressed because her boyfriend won't come over for Christmas.
 A cat vomits (we hear gagging and see goo), its human companion takes it to the veterinarian and she learns that she will have to euthanize the cat, which she does, and we see her burying the remains.
 A woman vomits (we hear gagging).

PROFANITY 6 - 12 F-words, 7 sexual references, 2 scatological terms, 7 anatomical terms, 7 mild obscenities, 1 derogatory term for homosexuals, name-calling (freak), 4 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]

SUBSTANCE USE - A high school age boy and a woman drink beer and smoke cigarettes. Two women drink alcohol together in a few scenes, people are shown drinking alcohol in a pub, and a man and a woman drink wine with dinner. A woman smokes cigarettes in several scenes and a high school aged girl smokes a cigarette. A woman talks about confiscating crack.

DISCUSSION TOPICS - Trust, secrets, infidelity, sexual relationships between people of different ages, insanity, loneliness, guilt, jealousy, shame, humiliation, disrespectful behavior, obsession, privacy, disappointment, homosexuality, consequences of behavior, adultery, lies, betrayal, deception, mental handicaps, depression, friendship, companionship.

MESSAGE - People are bound by the secrets that they share.

Special Keywords: S7 - V3 - P6 - MPAAR

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A CAVEAT: We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and some of our early standards were not as stringent as they are now. We therefore need to revisit many older reviews, especially those written prior to 1998 or so; please keep this in mind if you're consulting a review from that period. While we plan to revisit and correct older reviews our resources are limited and it is a slow, time-consuming process.

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