Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Albert Nobbs

February 23, 2012

"Albert Nobbs" is an unusual film set in Victorian England. Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is an odd, quiet little man who worked as a waiter in a hotel for several years, saving up money while dreaming to put up his own tobacco shop when he retires. As accidentally exposed by the hotel painter Mr. Page (Janet Mc Teer) who later became his only friend, Albert is actually a woman who took on this male persona to survive. He wished to "marry" one of the hotel maids, Helen (Mia Wasikowska), who was unfortunately in love with an unscrupulous ruffian handyman named Joe (Aaron Johnson).

Glenn Close rightly deserves to be nominated for Best Actress in her outstanding work here. She manages to convince us that she is a man, as slight and fragile as she was physically. Janet Mc Teer likewise deserves her Supporting Actress nomination as she played Nobbs' kindred soul "Mr." Page with so much confidence and bravado. This was so much evident during the scene where Close and Mc Teer don female frocks to take a walk on the beach. It was so delightfully ironic how these two women actually looked so funny and awkward dressed as women, as opposed to them dressed as men! That is a testament to both of their amazing character work.

The movie is as quiet, lonely and claustrophobic as Albert him/herself. Because of its unusual and potentially uncomfortable story line which not so subtle hints about lesbianism, this is art-house fare, not really for the general viewership. Sensitivity and understanding will be required to fully appreciate this film.

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