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Movie Review: Albert Nobbs

Alternate Title: Victor/Victoria

Story: Albert Nobbs is the perfect waiter at Dublin's Morrison Hotel in the mid-19th century. He is quiet and mindful of his class and rank in society. He seemingly vanishes into the woodwork unless called upon. The only problem is that Albert Nobbs is a woman.

This quiet film is all about class, gender, lost and tortured souls. It has echoes of Gosford Park, Upstairs/Downstairs and most recently PBS' Downton Abbey.

Albert Nobbs' secret is discovered by a passing tradesman. How this encounter leads to an awakening by Nobbs is the heart of the story. The film is beautifully shot and has all of the intrigued and contrast of the gentry and commoners.

Sensitively directed by Rodrigo Garcia and written by Glenn Close, Gabriella Prekop and John Banville. It is based on the short story by George Moore. Glenn Close won an Obie for her portrayal of this role on Broadway in 1982. She is looking for an Oscar to match it.


Acting: Glenn Close as Nobbs is wonderful in a restrained, sensitive performance. Janet McTeer as Hubert was terrific. Mia Wasikowska as Helen was flat for my taste. Aaron Johnson as Joe was right out of central casting. The supporting cast were all fine including: Brendan Gleeson (Holloran), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (Viscount Yarrell), Pauline Collins (Mrs. Baker), Mark Williams (Sean), Bronagh Gallagher (Cathleen) and Brenda Fricker (Polly).

Predilection: I like to see Oscar nominated films.

Trivia: Director Rodrigo Garcia is the son of Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. Rodrigo Garcia attended the 2nd annual Hatch audiovisual festival in Bozeman, MT in October 2005 and his film, Nine Lives, was honored with a Hatch award for best feature-length film. He has directed 2 actresses to Oscar nominations: Glenn Close, Best Actress, and Janet McTeer, Best Supporting Actress, both for Albert Nobbs.

Critters: Horses

Soundtrack: Appropriate

Opening Titles: All titles are at the end.

Visual Art: Beautifully set with great attention to period detail.

Theater Audience: About 20 others.

Weather: It is a chilly winter in Dublin.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: It is painful to watch deep repression.

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Both Glenn Close and Janet McTeer have been nominated for Oscars.

Big Screen or Rental: I always root for the big screen but this one could probably be seen on the small screen too.

Length: Under two hours