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Notes on a Scandal (2006)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Richard Eyre Rating:9.3/10 (3 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by Jay Olie Espy on September 20th, 2007:Find all reviews by Jay Olie Espy
Director Richard Eyre eschews any exposition and starts from the get-go and never stops, until the end credits. He begins by establishing character and story in relation to the shot. About 98% of his commentary is a narration of the storyline, but not because he doesn’t have anything to say, but because he points out the subtle nuances in acting and mise-en-scene one might miss. Eyre talks about the inner psychology of his characters, articulately describes their expressions with alternative adjectives, and points out how their actions will have consequences. Here, Eyre is completely playing director.

In his commentary, Eyre doesn’t seem to get too technical, but does point out the more interesting aspects of technical filmmaking. For example, there is one shot where the film reel is actually running in reverse, but you would never be able to tell. Secondly, there is a shot where Judi Dench is looking to her right, but for movie the filmmakers developed the film so it looks like she’s looking to her left to preserve continuity. Once piece of information aspiring directors can pick up from Eyre is how he uses slight camera movements to animate a static scene. Mainly, viewers get the feel that Eyre is a master of economic storytelling.

The commentary reveals a bit of a fun fact. No doubt Cineastes will put together that both Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett have played the role of Queen Elizabeth. But there is a third Elizabeth on the set. Who is she?

Overall, after listening to the commentary the viewer will understand the subtle actions and expressions that were probably missed on the first viewing.