Stars: *** 1/2
Rating: R for language, sexuality and adult themes
Run Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Hurrah for the juicy pot-boiler; scenery-chewing tabloid fodder so over-the-top you can’t help but enjoy.
is at the crux of this twisted melodrama, a tightly-wound spinster
schoolteacher named Barbara Covett with a penchant for obsessing on the weak.
In this case new
her stalker sensibilities under wraps while biding her time in becoming
The world comes
crashing down when Barb discovers
Based on Zoe Heller’s delicious novel “What Was She Thinking?” (indeed!), “Notes” borrows liberally from its vivid prose and utilizes luscious phrasing in keen voice-over by Dench. Screenwriter Patrick Marber (“Closer”) stays faithful to the source material but tacks on “Fatal Attraction” twists that play more sordid than suspenseful.
Dench gives an Oscar-worthy performance as an emotionally devious SWF who dreads ending her days alone and unspools her warped conspiracies with vigilant vengeance.
Dench/Blanchett show has support in all the right places. Bill Nighy is magnificent