Richard Eyre‘s Notes on a Scandal (Fox Searchlight, 12.22) doesn’t open for another three months, but Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett are currently in Los Angeles doing some preliminary Oscar drum-beating. They did a question & answer session before the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. yesterday following a screening, and tonight (Tuesday) they’re doing back-to-back q & a’s in front of separate SAG and BAFTA gatherings. Dench and Blanchett’s performances are both presumed to be Oscar quality, but nobody knows anything. The film involves an illicit affair at a private school.