Glenn Close co-wrote and stars in this adaptation of the play about a nineteenth-century Irishwoman who disguises herself as a man and works as a butler for twenty years. Mia Wasikowska, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Aaron Johnson co-star in this intelligent and often surprising period drama.
True independence is something hard won at the best of times, but for the protagonist of director Rodrigo Garcia’s captivating period piece, the measures taken to achieve it are extraordinary by any standard.
Albert Nobbs unfolds within the opulent rooms of Dublin’s most luxurious hotel, a place designed for the enjoyment of the privileged class. For those who live and work there, however, private dramas are unfolding, and much is not as it seems. Take Albert, the shy butler. He keeps to himself for a very good reason. Albert has been hiding a secret for a very long time. Albert is actually a woman.
Nineteenth-century Ireland was not an easy place for a single woman of no means. To keep herself from destitution’s door, Albert (Glenn Close, who played the role in an off-Broadway adaptation and is one of the film’s writers and producers) has spent over twenty years pretending to be a man. By now it would seem that nothing could spoil her immaculate ruse, but when a handsome painter arrives at the hotel, Albert is tempted to let the mask she’s worn for so long slip away. As she investigates the possibility of getting close to the artist, Albert attempts to secure the assistance of Helen (Mia Wasikowska), one of the hotel’s young maids, but Helen too is distracted — by a handsome young handyman (Aaron Johnson).
Based on the short story The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs by George Moore, the film benefits immeasurably from its adaptation, the fruit of a collaboration between Close and Booker Prize–winning author John Banville. Their witty exchanges are handled with utter finesse by the cast, which features not only Close, Wasikowska and Johnson, but also Irish actors Brendan Gleeson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Together they will transport you into the past — to meet a woman ahead of her time. –TIFF
Rodrigo García (born 24 August 1959) is a Colombian-born television and film director.
García was born in Bogotá, Colombia, the son of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and Mercedes Barcha Pardo. Because of this he knew Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, Pablo Neruda and Luis Buñuel when he was young
García has directed a variety of independent films such as the award-winning “Nine Lives” and “Albert Nobbs” and several episodes of the HBO series, Six Feet Under, Carnivàle, and Big Love. He created, wrote and directed the wildly popular HBO hit “In Treatment” As of 1987, he lives in the United States.
He has also worked as a camera operator and a cinematographer for several films such as Gia, The Birdcage and Great Expectations.
His film Nine Lives was nominated for the William Shatner Golden Groundhog Award for Best Underground Movie, the other nominated films were Green Street Hooligans, MirrorMask, Up for Grabs and Opie Gets Laid. —Wikipedia
There is definitely a charm about the similarity in tone to Downton Abbey, but Albert Nobbs holds its own in many varied ways. First off, Glenn Close's performance is nothing short of stunning, showing an actress that has made a name for herself and is not afraid to take on roles that are questionably controversial. This is also a beautiful story of unrequited love and the many ways that we can love one another.
I ended up enjoying its Downton Abby-ness. I agree with the New Yorker's David Edelstein: it's about "finding somewhere safe in a society that treats all poor people badly but poor women worse." He notes great performances, calling Close's Nobbs "the personification of fear—the fear of being seen through, seen for what she is," but at 64, her Nobbs is unfortunately "a hunched, wizened thing." 3.5 stars
An overview of the previews of this year’s edition.
Glenn Close’s performance is evidently a hands-down contender for you-know-what season.
Passer la spectaculaire prestation toute en nuance de Glenn Close en Albert Nobbs, le film de Rodrigo Garcia demeure bien linéaire et bien classique. Le film ne creuse même pas vraiment l’ambiguït… read review