Movies: Great Performances: Class Is In Session

When two powerhouse actors get together in one film--or one room--nobody's safe.

Colin Bell for TIME

Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett.

In the movie world, January is primary season, when actors, directors, producers and, most of all, publicists jockey--as discreetly as possible, of course--for Oscar nominations. One of the axioms of the Academy Awards is that the more difficult the subject matter, the better Oscar likes you. In that case, Notes on a Scandal should do well. The story of a teacher who has an affair with a student and the colleague who tries to blackmail her is a darkly funny commentary on class and sexuality. Its stars, JUDI DENCH and CATE BLANCHETT--both former Oscar winners and perennial candidates--sat down with TIME's Jumana...

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