Glenn Close and her jaw-dropping performance! She simply secures this film for everyone's watchlist. Learning how she co-wrote the story is even more amazing. She seem to know well how to bring this character to life. Such stunning performances by Janet McTeer and Mia Wasikowska. It certainly was a very uneasy era being a woman, and Glenn Close made sure you understood that. Thumbs up!
What could have been an interesting take on gender and politics winds up a toothless affair with a showy performance by Close. For a better take on this kind of subject look up Maggie Greenwalds' 'The Ballad of Little Jo" which really had something to say. The blandness of 'Nobbs' sinks the picture especially its mostly lifeless cast save Janet McTeer who owns every scene she's in. Garcia continues to underwelm.
I didn't enjoy this as much as I expected to. Close is very good though. While I enjoyed looking at Aaron Johnson's body, for the first time I didn't enjoy one of his characters. He was an ass hole with bad teeth. But he's not the whole film. There's still a lot to enjoy here, but ultimately *SPOILER ALERT* the tragic ending fell flat with me. Still when I think back, there's some nice stuff in the earlier scenes.
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
I love films that push societal gender limits, and although this film is great in some respects, it fails quite miserably in others. I think it's an unsaid fact that Glenn Close is perfect in everything she does, and she definitely did the role of Albert Nobbs justice, but the rest of the cast was extremely sloppy in comparison – especially Mia Wasikowska.
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.