Two more excellent actors are given the opportunity to go head to head in Notes on a Scandal . Reminiscent of a great match, like Muhammad Ali's fight against George Foreman, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett are well matched opponents pitted against each other until a somewhat bitter end.

Blanchett plays a beautiful, new art teacher at a rather tough high school in London. Sheltered and beautiful, Blanchett's Sheba still has the delusion that she can “contribute.”

Quickly shaken by the harsh reality of disinterested kids and overcrowded classrooms, Blanchett turns to Dench for help. Delighted to be of service, Dench takes Sheba under her wing with all the delight of a hungry cat, toying with an injured dove. Sheba's love affair with a student provides Dench with the in she needs to insert herself firmly and recklessly into Sheba's life.

Dench tears into the villainous role of the repressed lesbian with all the gusto Anthony Hopkins displayed as Hannibal Lecter; an iconic and memorable performance that transforms this drama into a near thriller.

Extras: director's commentary, behind the scenes, webisodes and trailer.

Grade: A