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ALBERT NOBBS – News/reviews

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  • Scottferguson
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    #45848

    Again, couldn’t find a thread here – if one, please bump.

    Close gives a tricky but successful performance here – she is not only acting, but the character she is portraying is also acting throughout the film (that is, never herself). Not sure that makes total sense, but it is likely why some of the initial reaction has been muted – the character is so unnatural and guarded most of the time (with a handful of strongly out-of-character emotional scenes the more powerful because of the contrast). It’s not a performance that screams, and I mean this is a good way, Oscar, but it’s a very worthy one.

    McTeer has the more flamboyant role, and her getting attention is no surprise. The cast throughout is solid (Rodrigo Garcia continues showing expertise with actors). Aaron Johnson, who tried so hard to convince as John Lennon in Nowhere Boy though didn’t quite do it for me, exudes (appropriate) sexiness that shakes up the story and the surroundings very effectively.

    For those who have seen John Huston’s terrific last film The Dead, the cloistered, claustrophobic Dublin shown here will seem familiar, although this is not otherwise that similar.

    This is never going to be a breakout film, but is a credit to those involved, and hopefully manages to find an appreciative audience.

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    Mary11
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    #45850

    For those who have seen John Huston’s terrific last film The Dead, the cloistered, claustrophobic Dublin shown here will seem familiar, although this is not otherwise that similar.

    Thanks for the review.

    I loved the Dead. I Now I really want to see this movie.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #45851

    Glad to hear it.  Glenn Close gave one of my all-time favorite performances in DANGEROUS LIAISONS — that final scene still gives me chills.  With five nominations under her belt, Close is entirely worthy of and overdue for an Academy Award.

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    Anonymous
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    #45852

    SF is giving way too much credit to the film and Close’ performance. However, she wouldn’t be a horrible nominee.

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    Scottferguson
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    #45853

    BI

    I didn’t comment on the film, except that it in part reminded me of elements of The Dead and the cast is decent overall. So maybe I am giving it too much credit, maybe I’m not, but I didn’t say much about it.

    I likely regard Close’s performance as better than you do, but there is clearly going to continue to be a division of opinion about it. It would be an unusual veteran actress’ first Oscar – it’s an entirely different matter than Helen Mirren and Jessica Tandy (both in big deal movies), and without the easy audience identfication that Geraldine Page had, to compare it to those. But it’s an entirely different kind of role.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #45854

    Ms Close was also excellent in and probably deserved a sixth Oscar nomination for REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, opposite Jeremy Irons, who did win an Oscar for his performance in that film.

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    Miss Frost
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    #45855

    I saw the film the other day. It was definitely one of those films that left a bad taste in my mouth for the most part. Close’s performance was very polarizing that I didn’t know what the heck to think. For some really odd reason she reminded me of Felicity Hoffman in Transamerica, in which I had the same exact reaction to. Don’t really think its Oscar worthy, but a nomination wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it would be. However I would rather see Close get her next Oscar nomination when she actually has a high chance of winning. It will be depressing to see her lose again.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #45856

    I saw the film the other day. It was definitely one of those films that left a bad taste in my mouth for the most part. Close’s performance was very polarizing that I didn’t know what the heck to think. For some really odd reason she reminded me of Felicity Hoffman in Transamerica, in which I had the same exact reaction to. Don’t really think its Oscar worthy, but a nomination wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it would be. However I would rather see Close get her next Oscar nomination when she actually has a high chance of winning. It will be depressing to see her lose again.

    I haven’t seen the movie but comparing the performance to Felicity Hoffman’s sounds unfair, unless you mean it wasn’t convincing.  I did not buy Ms Hoffman as a man passing as a woman for a second, although I sorta liked her character and the story anyway.  The million dollar question for me would be:  Is Glenn Close believable as a woman passing as a man?

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    Miss Frost
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    #45857

    ^Thats pretty much what it reminded me of. Hoffman did the best she could, but I wasn’t convinced that she is portraying a man. For an expert level actress Close is,  she didn’t strike me as a female portraying an actual male. Just a very masculine woman.

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    TrendyHipster
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    #45858

    SF is giving way too much credit to the film and Close’ performance.

    Word.

    Hilary Swank was much more moving in Boy’s Dont Cry. I agree that Close was polarizing, I think she was channelling that Oscar too much and her performance suffered for it. I’m not in the “give Close an Oscar” bandwagon because there are many actors who have been robbed. As long as the winner actually put on the Best performance for that given year, then that is what matters (as subjective as it is). 

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    Ethel Charles
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    #45859

    For heaven’s sake! Did I see a different movie than you lot or perhaps it was the fact that I saw it sober?! Thought it was great and that Close and all were superb. 

    She was perfect as a man! In fact most ladies of a certain age look like men, staggering about deep voiced like truck drivers (menopause is a cruel joke on us gals I have to say)… so, not exactly difficult for Close to pull off a male countenance, not to mention the fact that she was always somewhat adrogynous. I suppose this is what helped give Fatal Attraction its edge. Also, there’s deliteful supporting characters. Pauline Collins in particular was a duplicitous, cheeky little monkey! Also, lotsa laffs in this if you like your ladies wearing pants that is. 

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #45860

    For heaven’s sake! Did I see a different movie than you lot or perhaps it was the fact that I saw it sober?! Thought it was great and that Close and all were superb. 

    She was perfect as a man! In fact most ladies of a certain age look like men, staggering about deep voiced like truck drivers (menopause is a cruel joke on us gals I have to say)… so, not exactly difficult for Close to pull off a male countenance, not to mention the fact that she was always somewhat adrogynous. I suppose this is what helped give Fatal Attraction its edge. Also, there’s deliteful supporting characters. Pauline Collins in particular was a duplicitous, cheeky little monkey! Also, lotsa laffs in this if you like your ladies wearing pants that is. 

    Thank you for the dissenting viewpoint, Ms Ethel Charles.  Truly, seeing a movie “sober” often results in a completely different experience!  I will keep my expectations high, as Ms Close never fails to amaze, and the supporting cast for this film does indeed look absolutely stellar, including Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Janet McTeer, Brenda Fricker, and the irrepressible Pauline Collins.

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    babypook
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    #45861

    I’m far from ready to drop Close from the final five.

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    Scottferguson
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    #45862

    Huge endorsement for Close in the NYTimes review

    Movie Review | ‘Albert Nobbs’
    Finding a Safe Harbor in Male Identity
    By A. O. SCOTT

    “Such a sweet little man,” remarks a guest at a shabby-genteel Dublin hotel, referring to a waiter named Albert Nobbs. One of Albert’s co-workers describes him, less kindly, as a “freak,” and there is certainly something odd about this elfin, diffident, ginger-haired fellow, who attends to his duties with fastidious care. He is not, indeed, a fellow at all, but a woman who has lived most of her life disguised as a man. And not just any woman: this self-effacing, cautious character, whose name is also the title of Rodrigo Garcia’s lively and touching new film, is played by the dazzling and infinitely resourceful Glenn Close.

    Ms. Close does not exactly suppress her natural radiance to play Albert, whose practice is to hover half-invisibly at the edges of things, inscrutably observing the boisterous doings of the rest of humanity. Rather, she imparts a mysterious glow to his smallest gestures and actions, balancing nimbly on the line between comedy and pathos. On the streets of Dublin, wearing a bowler hat and a dark coat, wielding a rolled-up umbrella, Albert is a Chaplinesque figure. He walks stiffly and speaks in a low monotone, acting out a parody of masculinity that is charming, revealing and sad.

    It is also effective enough to fool everyone at the hotel, a humming establishment run by Mrs. Baker, a shrewd and pretentious lady played with cooing, squawking relish by Pauline Collins. The film, based on a short story by George Moore and adapted by Ms. Close, Gabriella Prekop and the Irish novelist John Banville, entangles its protagonist in a skein of subplots, using minor characters to sketch a busy tableau of late-19th-century Ireland.

    It is a place constrained by custom and defined by class hierarchy. A group of young aristocrats (led by Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) floats in and out of the hotel. Most of the drama — and the comedy — takes place among the hotel workers, who include the “Harry Potter” stalwarts Brendan Gleeson (as the house doctor) and Mark Williams (as one of Albert’s fellow servers). A rough, handsome former militant named Joe (Aaron Johnson) is hired to fix the boiler and starts up an affair with Helen (Mia Wasikowska), a flirtatious maid who also becomes the object of Albert’s wooing.

    Albert dares to approach Helen — asking her to “walk out” with him in the city’s parks and shopping districts — because he has encountered a kindred soul in the person of Hubert Page, a housepainter engaged by Mrs. Baker to do some sprucing up. It turns out that Hubert (Janet McTeer) is also a woman in disguise, and he becomes Albert’s mentor and model. Both of them decided to live as men to escape male violence, but they inhabit their assumed identities in very different ways. For Albert, maleness is a way of disappearing in public, a protective cloak of anonymity that guarantees safety. For Hubert, being a man is a form of self-assertion. Tall and loose-limbed, a smoker and a talker, Hubert is happy to partake of the privileges of his adopted gender, including the company of a lovely and devoted wife (Bronagh Gallagher).

    “Did he tell her he was a woman before the wedding, or after?” Albert wonders about this arrangement, believing, mistakenly, that it is more of a business deal than a romantic bond. His pursuit of Helen follows along this cautious, practical track: He is saving his tips and wages in the hopes of opening a tobacco shop, and he imagines that a wife could supply him with labor and legitimacy as well as company.

    Nothing is that simple, and “Albert Nobbs” explores the complications with a light and sensitive touch. Ms. McTeer’s sly, exuberant performance is a pure delight, and the counterpoint between her physical expressiveness and Ms. Close’s tightly coiled reserve is a marvel to behold. The rest of the film is a bit too decorous and tidy to count as a major revelation, but it dispenses satisfying doses of humor, pathos and surprise.

    Ms. Close, who played Albert Nobbs on stage in New York almost 30 years ago, has been trying for many years to bring his story to the screen. She found an ideal director in Mr. Garcia, notable for his sympathetic view of women — as seen in “Nine Lives” and “Mother and Child” — and his ability to keep melodrama within the bounds of good taste. This last quality may count as a limitation, because it is possible to imagine a wilder, campier, more radical rendering of “Albert Nobbs.” (The Pedro Almodóvar version, for example, might be interesting).

    But the sincere, sober, careful version we have is good enough, and it is in keeping with the way Ms. Close interprets the character, as a person for whom tact, formality and decency represent not the denial of feeling but its most profound and authentic expression.

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    dannyboy.
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    #45863

    I’ll say it again, this is the only place I have encountered that has not been overwhelmed by Close and McTeer.. People I have spoken with who work in the business have nothing but great things to say. I think GD is overlooking them both at least in terms if pulling off a win.

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