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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Albert Nobbs

"You are the strangest man I have ever met." - Helen to Albert Nobbs

Glenn Close has the title role in the film version of Albert Nobbs and her upstairs and downstairs aren't quite what they seem. She's a 19th century woman passing as a man. After years of keeping up the charade as a male waiter, a new visitor and a new love turn Albert's world topsy turvy.

I rarely relax and enjoy stories like
Boys Don't Cry or The Crying Game where one of the leads is blindsided in a doomed romance. That's a bit true here, but what surprised me is that I kept guessing how the story was going to unfold. This is a tightly edited production which served this simple story very well.

Yeah, the beers must have been very strong in Dublin for Close and Janet McTeer's characters to pass as men, but I enjoyed their perfomances anyway. I even laughed a few times.  I don't know many people who are going to absolutely love Albert Nobbs, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Simply put:  I thought this was going to be a drag, but it's a surprising little film 
Award potential: Oscar nominee Close has an amazing performance in a role she played on stage 30 years ago. Janet McTeer, in a louder role, is deserving of a nomination too. But neither really convince you that they could pull off life in Ireland as a man, so look for other actors to win on Oscar night. Sinead O' Connor's haunting "Lay Your Head Down" was robbed of a song nomination. 

The ten buck review: Worth ten bucks. Barely.

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