Albert Nobbs 2011 ***

Glenn Close picked up an Oscar nomination for this original and intriguing film; she plays Albert Nobbs, a meticulous butler living in late 19th century Ireland. The arrival of Hubert Page (Janet McTeer) at the Dublin hotel Nobbs works in predicates a crisis for both of them; they understand each other’s secrets, as they are both women who manage to make their living by pretending to be men and duping everyone else as to their real gender. Page and Nobbs develop a friendship that promises an escape; a scene where they take a liberated run down the beach in women’s clothing is a remarkable feat of acting in that they look like men in drag. Having played Nobbs onstage, Close delivers a sensationally androgynous performance, McTeer matches her, and the supporting cast, including Brendan Gleeson, Pauline Collins and Mia Wasikowska create a vivid picture of a rarely documented sociological phenomenon, presented with taste and restraint by director Rodrigo Garcia. Screen-story credited to Istvan Szabo.



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