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.
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What might have been an interesting treatise on sapphic gender politics is reduced to a static little drama that drowns in its own timidity, not helped by everyone trying so hard in their 'sunday best'. The central conceit dosen't work on film and the required suspension of disbelief doesn't pay off in any fruitful way with the political, social and sexual mores barely hinted at. Read the novella.
Can not be taken seriously. That is, unless it's supposed to be a Bruce Jenner biopic? Was not even suitable as background noise while I worked. The biggest shame is that the ultra-talented Mia Wasikowska was not given more to work with.
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
A wonderfully crafted nothing that fails in making anyone sympathetic with its freakish protagonist. As strongly as Close wanted to play this character on screen, it will be a sad footnote to her career if she does in fact get an Oscar for her robotic performance. 2 hours that play like 10 once one realizes the story can go nowhere. Greatly, greatly overrated
Glen close playing a man in 19th century Ireland. So clunkily scripted, with glaringly weak plot points and a layer of sickening sentimentality that I couldn't make it past the half-way point. 1/2 star.
Glenn Close gives an excellent, finely tuned performance as a woman who has lived her life as a man and now works as a waiter at a fine hotel. But when she befriends another woman posing as a man, she begins to realize her dream of business ownership and falls in love with a woman. An odd film that never seems fully realized or developed, and never quite rings true.