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Plot: Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man, so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most posh hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living. Runtime: 113 mins Release Date: 26 Dec 2011
I saw this film at the Mill Valley Film Festival Opening last night and I thought it was an amazing piece. Luckily I didn't have an preconceived notions about the film. I hadn't heard anything about it which for me is always the best way to go into a film. I always set high standards for any film that Glen Close is a part of and she definitely met that expectation and then some.Visually, Albert Nobbs had a fairy tale feel to it. I would say it was an atypical film without political agenda. A simple but highly intelligent story full of life and character detail. I would like to see <more>
this again. I have a feeling that in a second screening I would see so many new things that are so subtle in the first viewing. Glen Close transformed completely. It was dazzling to watch. I was captivated by her face and her mannerisms. I would highly recommend this film to friends. A must see!
A different Glenn Close at her best.... (by aeljs)
Glenn Close's portrayal of the title character was excellent! She was at her best in this picture. Perhaps the reason why other people who saw the movie felt that the movie is draggy and her portrayal is so-so was because there wasn't any hysteria in it. There wasn't any grandstanding scene. There wasn't a shouting match. No loud confrontations. No slapping and hair-pulling scenes. It's a quiet movie so unlike of Close's other known portrayals. But one can't simply ignore the greatness she has shown in her eyes. You can feel the sadness, the pain, the fears and the <more>
hope in her eyes. It was a quiet, restrained performance that is quite haunting that stays in your mind even after watching it. And that's what happened to me. Hours after watching it, the scenes and her story still lingers in my mind. Everyone in the movie gave worthy performances.... Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Myers even though he was in 3-4 scenes only and most especially, Janet McTeer. McTeer's characterization was superb. Her body built helped a lot in her portrayal of Hubert Page. But i don't believe that she upstaged Close's here. Her character was quite different from the character that Glenn Close was portraying. And both did quite well in giving justice to the roles they played in the movie. The beach scene was excellent... quiet, yet conveys so much feelings... How i wish that those who've seen the movie and saw it differently will watch it again and see the story from Albert Nobbs' point of view. See the expressions in 'his' eyes and feel the tragedy of the life 'he' has gone through. Glenn Close really deserves to win the Oscar's Best Actress plum with this movie.
Phenomenal performances by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer (by Ramascreen)
When an actor transforms, he or she only lets you see the characters they play and Glenn Close's transformation in ALBERT NOBBS is acting in is purest form. Janet McTeer gives an equally incredible performance! Close is a 5 time Oscar nominee and it's high time she gets her long overdue appreciation. With a narrative that centers on unrequited love, identity and heartache, ALBERT NOBBS is the most powerful, emotional drama about longing for acceptance and freedom of expression since Brokeback Mountain When I first saw the trailer/preview a few months back, two things came to mind, <more>
the first one was that it had that Gosford Park vibe to it and the second impression was that I couldn't believe that that was Glenn Close who I was I watching. Close is an actress who not only surrenders completely to her roles but she also has such strong convictions in them, you can't help but be amazed at every speech and every gesture she makes. This transgender performance without a doubt is her best work yet. Her co-star, Janet McTeer, also a fellow Oscar nominee, doesn't have a problem keeping up with Close. McTeer meets the challenge, stares it right in the eye, and steals the scenes any chance she gets. The story is heartbreaking and yet irresistible and wonderful, very well-written and well-directed. It's like an enchanting tale that grounded, a period piece with a relevant and timeless issue, and it speaks about society. All of the characters in this film contribute to Albert Nobbs' story arc. I think you'll find Mia Wasikowska's and Aaron Johnson's characters very interesting because their type of relationship is no stranger to all of us. Mia plays a maid who's needy and insecure, and then comes along Johnson's character who sweeps her off her feet, only to eventually use her to his advantage. At times the film moves gently and other times there's a tug of war going on that heightens the conflict. Albert Nobbs is both a tragic and inspiring character, she's spent so many years being what she's not, she doesn't know how to be who she is anymore. She has a dream but she can't find anyone who'd share that dream with her, even Mr. Page McTeer , the one person who accepts her, the person whose life Nobbs desperately wants to live up to, wouldn't take the chance, and so that forces her to go back to chasing a fool of a woman who's head over heels for a drunkard. It's a story that offers rude awakening as a way to get everyone around Nobbs to finally learn their lesson, for us the audience to be a bit more sympathetic.
Albert Nobbs is a labor of love. Glenn Close, who stars in the titular role, has been connected with this material for nearly 20 years, playing the same role on stage in 1982. For years she tried to get the production to the big screen, and after a long wait her efforts have put forth a brilliant film. Directed by Rodrigo Garcia In Treatment , this film tells the story of Albert, an Irish waiter at a hotel. The trouble is she has been portraying herself as a man for 30 years. She has become encased in her mindset of Albert Nobbs that she doesn't know her true self anymore. She must do <more>
whatever it takes to get by, even if it means keeping her secret to the grave.She befriends a local painter, Hubert Page Janet McTeer , only Hubert isn't all that he says he is either. With Hubert's friendship, Albert sees that what he needs is a wife. He attempts to court another maid at the hotel, Helen by Mia Wasikowska , only she has taken a shine to Joe Aaron Johnson , the new handyman. It's sometimes painful to see the lengths that Albert goes to for Helen, but Albert it so pure in his thinking and kind of heart that we want him to get the girl no matter what.What makes Albert Nobbs so special is Close's performance. Close truly fits the part. There is something in her eyes that makes you really believe that the woman in Albert is only what he keeps hidden under his clothes. All the rest is a man. Close makes us believe that Albert sees himself as a man only just a little different. We see a fragile man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, even if it means sucking up to the harsh and vulgar members of high society.The supporting cast around Close is fantastic as well. McTeer really shines as Albert's only true friend. I would look for both Close and McTeer to be in contention come this Oscar night. Wasikowska and Johnson look great for their respective parts, playing them with honesty. Another accent to the cast is Brendan Gleeson as the local doctor. He adds a touch of sensibility to the entitled of the day. He likes a good, stiff drink or three and finds himself comfortable in the company of those considered lower than him.Gleeson's character brings up a great quality to the film. I am astonished at how much of a commentary of 19th century life is put into the film. I would say most of the first act is setting up the world they live in and periodic references and characters enter the second and third acts to remind us of the time period this story is taking place. Albert Nobbs is in fact a reflection of what it was like to live back then. In order to make a decent living one had to be a man, otherwise find someone to live off of.It's a heartbreaking story that will really hit home. Albert on the surface is a simple man, but underneath lies a wealth of feeling, confusion, and love. The film ends with the beautiful song "Lay Your Head Down" with lyrics by Close herself, music by Brian Byrne, and sung by Sinead O'Connor. It reminded me of "Into the West" by Annie Lennox, the Oscar winning song from Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. This song from Albert is somber, sweet, and plays like a lullaby. I think it's safe to say that is exactly what it is; a lullaby for Albert, a character whose life has been so strenuous and tiresome.The more I think about it the more I love this film. Great performances, great characters, and a perfect time period to be placed in. The song is the icing on the cake and probably has the best shot at winning come Oscar night . It looks like Meryl Streep is all but a lock for Best Actress, but we shall see what happens. Who knows, maybe Albert will gain momentum coming down the homestretch. I hope it does.
Masterful Performances All Around (by chicagopoetry)
Technically, the film Albert Nobbs won't be released in the United States until late January, and I would think that would disqualify it as a contender for the upcoming Oscars although the buzz around says otherwise, so I don't know how that works but it would be a real shame if true because Glenn Close is strictly at her best since Dangerous Liaisons as Albert Nobbs, a male waiter living a secret life. Janet McTeer is a bit more hammy as Hubert Page, another woman living life as a man, and she's not as convincing as Close is as a man, but she still has her moments, like the way <more>
she walks all manly on the beach even when wearing a dress. Mia Wasikowska also gives a supporting actress nomination worthy role as sort of what Cécile was to Liaisons. I really hated the ending of this film and would have preferred something a little less Remains of the Day and a little more uplifting and hopeful, so as a film I don't think it is best picture material but Glenn Close certainly deserves her long overdue Oscar for this stunning performance.I do have to wonder how this got an R rating though. There is nothing R rated in it whatsoever; the only nudity involves two very quick flashes of breasts only to establish that the characters are actually female, and other than that, there is no foul language or violence or anything. The MPPA should reconsider what I believe to be a biased rating that it came up with based only on the fact that the film hints at lesbianism.
A fresh, new and quick "Les Misérables" (by persian-belle)
This film contains two elements that I generally do not enjoy: 1. Glenn Close 2. British/American period films full of dull colours... and yet I surprisingly enjoyed it.I may have misjudged Glenn Close before. For some unknown reason I always disliked the lack of expression in her pale face and her flat gaze. Maybe that's exactly why she was such an excellent fit for Albert Nobbs' character.Some viewers have stated that Glenn Close is "unwatchable" in the film, that she is awkward as a man, doesn't really pass as a man with her smaller figure... but these commentators <more>
seem to forget that Close is not playing the role of a man. She is supposed to be a woman who is indeed rather awkward as a man. Her feeling of being fraudulent, coupled with the fear of being discovered and her lack of social skills caused by non-existing role models and rough past experiences make her silent, seemingly shy and a little "strange" when trying to act as a man. Close is not acting poorly. In my humble opinion, she's doing a very tough job very well by appearing in that very complex role.My moment of "awe" was when she, a real woman in real life, wears a dress and appears like a transvestite to the viewer. That, my friends, is most unnatural and hard to achieve for a female actor.The film was about Albert Nobbs, but more about misery in general. It brings to light unfortunately as of now timeless issues of poverty, social pressure requirement of marriage to have a child or to live with someone , violence against women, rape, gender inequality, identity crisis, same sex relationships, hypocrisy, desperation, loneliness, social status, deceit, disease epidemics and much more all in one film. Some have said that this film is drowned in stereotypes, but that IS the issue. Those were the times of stereotypes. I believe this film successfully demonstrates the struggles of a particular class of people for its period in Dublin.An express Les Misérables to go... Need I say more??!!
Janet McTeer is ... transcendent (by JulieKelleher57)
Janet McTeer is absolutely transcendent in ALBERT NOBBS.The waves of emotion which she wraps into Hubert Page are a wonder to behold. Her performance is not one of those 'knock me over with a feather' performances; it's more like a performance that settles in the bottom of your heart and stays there well after the movie ends. It keeps you up at night, and tugs at you for days afterward.The story itself is more layered than it appears to be. Glenn Close has brought to the screen a very private yet very emotional character. Such a character is difficult to portray -- and the <more>
'talking to one's self scenes' were a bit annoying, as all such scenes are.In the end, however, this is a movie well worth your time.
Haunting, bittersweet gender swap period piece proves illuminating (by Turfseer)
Having seen director Rodrigo Garcia's excellent 'Woman and Child' at last year's Spirit Award screenings, I was surprised to see him tackling a period piece, 'Albert Nobbs', which is based on a 1927 novella by the Irish novelist, George Moore, and later turned into a stage production in 1982, starring Glenn Close, who now again tackles the title role, this time playing the part decidedly as a middle-aged character. Garcia is one of today's leading directors as he has a reputation for being sensitive to the needs of women and extremely competent in directing <more>
them.'Albert Nobbs' is set in the late nineteenth century in Dublin and focuses on Glenn Close as Albert, a woman who works as a servant at the Morrison Hotel and who's been pretending to be a man since the age of 14. When Mrs. Baker, the pretentious proprietress of the hotel brilliantly played by Pauline Collins, known for her role in the famed TV series, 'Upstairs, Downstairs' , orders Albert to put up house painter Hubert Page played by a fantastic Janet McTeer , for the night in her room, Albert can no longer hide her disguise when she's compelled to strip off her corset due to an infestation of fleas inside her clothes. It looks like Page is going to end up blackmailing Albert but in a great plot twist, she reveals that she's a woman too, by revealing her pendulous breasts.Albert, who is extremely reserved, is shocked at Page's revelation but nonetheless is impressed how Page conducts herself as a man. While Albert is deathly afraid of being found out, Page is self-assured and cocky. She even is legally married to a woman and they have a loving relationship Albert seeks to learn if they're on intimate terms, but Page refuses to tell .Albert dreams of opening up a tobacco shop and has been hoarding her money underneath a floorboard in her room. With Hubert as a model, Albert becomes a infatuated with Helen, a very pretty, young servant girl. While Mia Wasikowska practically sleep-walked through her recent role as 'Jane Eyre', here director Garcia turns her into a powerhouse of vacillating feelings and emotions. Soon, Mrs. Baker hires the young 'bad boy' boiler repairman, Joe, and Helen falls for him hook, line and sinker.There are actually two antagonists in 'Albert Nobbs'. First is the Victorian society itself, that forces women such as Albert and Hubert to deny their true selves, in order to survive. It was all about economics, as women were paid very little or weren't allowed to work at all. Often, they were brutalized by alcoholic husbands and some or should I say, a few chose to run away and hide their identities, acting as men. The epitome of those men who put women in such a position, is the ne'er-do-well, Joe, who can't control his anger and refuses to accept the idea that he has a responsibility to act as a caring father.While 'Nobbs' is often sad, director Garcia wisely inserts some humorous scenes to balance the tragedy. There's a great scene where Albert and Hubert take a stroll on the beach, dressed as women. Ever so briefly, Albert actually gets to experience feelings of joy, as she runs down the shore for the first in women's clothes. They seem to revel in their awkwardness but Albert soon trips and falls. The joy is short-lived and we immediately cut back to the hotel, where Albert must re-assume his role as the stiff-necked servant.Tragedy is unavoidable when a typhoid epidemic claims the life of Hubert's wife, Kathleen. And Joe, in his anger, knocks Albert against a wall, after the two tussle for Helen's affection. The blow against the wall is the coup de grace, as Albert does not survive.Garcia also depicts the brutal class differences in the late nineteenth century. The guests at the hotel are for the most part quite arrogant and treat the servants as inferiors. Not everybody back then was unkind though. Dr. Holloran orders Mrs. Baker not to throw Helen out on the streets after she becomes pregnant.'Albert Nobbs' ends on a bittersweet note. Dr. Holloran bemoans Albert's fate when he discovers that she's a woman on her deathbed. But Hubert plays the role of the redeeming angel. He learns from Helen that soon child welfare officials will come for the baby and Mrs. Baker will indeed throw her out on the streets. But Hubert assures her that it won't happen—that soon she will take Helen as a wife and protect her and the baby from any harm.There has been some criticism that the Albert character is underdeveloped and needs more of a back story. One critic writes: "Nobbs is so emotionally stunted by the very act of living as to almost cease to exist." There may be some truth in that opinion but by the same token, we do learn about Albert's childhood and how she came to adopt her role as a man. You can probably appreciate Albert's character more if you place it in contrast to Hubert. They should be looked as a team, reminiscent of 'Laurel and Hardy', sans the comedy. Albert's demeanor is both dour and precise; he's a bit of a Chaplinesque character, and although her pursuit of Helen is naïve, it's quite heartfelt. Hubert is always comfortable in her own skin, and is much more confident than Albert. In a sense, Albert lives on in Hubert, who must be seen as a great 'protector' of all women.'Albert Nobbs' is a very impressive film with a top-notch cast. Close and McTeer work wonders in difficult roles and are supported by equally impressive supporting players. The cinematography evokes the bygone era of turn-of-the-century Dublin with director Garcia most ably conveying what it was like living in such a repressed atmosphere. Maybe that's why James Joyce eventually left Dublin and never came back.
Strangely haunting and McTeer is mesmerising (by jegpad)
When I first saw McTeer I was captivated by an Oscar worthy performance. The nuances in her expressions spoke a thousand words and I found myself eager for her to break cover in her secret battle against the iniquities of master and servant. Close is a little too closeted for the viewer to empathise completely. Her naivety is frustrating compared to McTeer's emancipated demeanour. The premise of the film is engaging and creates a suspense which held my attention throughout, although I was too optimistic in my expectation for a comeuppance denouement. Rather the viewer is satisfied that <more>
the secret battle for female emancipation continues despite the tragedies along the way.Beautifully filmed with glorious attention to detail, Albert Nobbs is a story that comes back to haunt you.