Early on in the new film Notes on a Scandal , aging British schoolteacher Barbara Covett Judi Dench looks down through a high-school window to watch dozens of young students pouring into the school yard. We see her from the vantage point of someone standing on the ground; her face is small and somewhat obscured by the glass, but the look of disdain on her face is clear. It is an image that calls to mind the sinister Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca , at once trapped inside, yearning to be free, yet dismissive of the outside world. Barbara Covett peering through the window — like Mrs. Danvers, longing for her dead mistress — is symbolic of the madwoman in the attic, a metaphor that has long carried with it the heavy baggage of misogyny, mental illness and sexual repression.
Julie Bindel: We can take stereotypes | Opinion | The Guardian
She is called a witch; she is called a vampire. Even worse, she is called a spinster and a virgin — something that is simply pathetic for a woman at her advanced age. In Notes on a Scandal, all of the stereotypical qualities of the psychotic lesbian stalker are laid upon the character of Barbara Covett. The character of Sheba does not fare much better.
We can take stereotypes
Sign in. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Notes on a Scandal Hide Spoilers.
Christmas present or lump of coal? That's the question many gay filmgoers may be asking themselves after watching Fox Searchlight's Notes on a Scandal. On one hand, we have a big Oscar hopeful from a big studio with a big star Judi Dench playing a lesbian, with the film told from her perspective. On the other hand, the role does not in any way fit the notion of a politically correct gay character. Does this represent a new trend in film, in which gay characters are allowed to have flaws and even come off as unsympathetic?