Albert Nobbs (2011) – Rodrigo Garcia

Fascinating character study of a woman living as a man in 19th Century Ireland. Glenn Close plays the titular waiter in a Dublin hotel concealing her identity while pinching pennies to save up for her own tobacco shop. The movie is wise to reveal its secret early and to not treat it as a bombshell, because of the nature of movie stars, it’s fairly obvious we’re looking at Glenn Close, but Close does a marvelous job, particularly with her voice, that it’s believable that she would be able to pull this off. Less successful is Janet McTeer, as a second faux man, who finds Albert out only to comfort her and inspire her with her own situation, leading to Albert’s wooing of a pretty maid in the hotel (Mia Wasikowska), which is when things get complicated and then tragic. Fine supporting performances from Wasikowska, Brendan Gleeson, and Brenda Flicker round out the cast that also includes Jonathan Rhys-Myers and Aaron Johnson.

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