Opening in theatres this Friday from director Rodrigo Garcia and Chrysalis Films comes a look into the life that is not all it seems with “Albert Nobbs”.
This film tells the story of Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close), a woman trying to survive in Ireland during the 19th century. Working as a waiter in a bed and breakfast owned by Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins), Albert knows what the clients want and he provides it.
In the privacy of his room at the top of the inn, Albert counts every bit of money made recording it in a book. His dream is to open a tobacco shop. Then Albert meets Helen (Mia Wasikowska), a housemaid Albert sees as the woman to share life with.
Helen, however, becomes involved with Joe (Aaron Johnson) who enticed Helen to go on walks with Albert to find out what he can get out of it. Helen complies and gets to know a little of Albert.
One day Hubert (Janet McTeer) show up to paint the inn and Albert’s life is about to change. There are so many questions and Albert wants the answer of how to live this life she created for herself and can’t break away from.
Who she is not what he wants.
FINAL WORD: Close as Albert is an interesting character. There isn’t much emotion and I understand that’s the point but because of that I just can’t get into Albert’s character. I so wanted to but it’s asking a lot of the viewer to go on this journey. Although she is totally convincing as Albert, I don’t know if that is going to be enough.
Wasikowska is fine as Helen but then again I’ve seen this character before from her. Playing the desperate maiden works for her. The same could be said of her co-star and co-conspirator Aaron Johnson as Joe. The characters are good and that’s the most I can say.
My applause is held for Janet McTeer as Hubert. What an amazing role for her, so full of emotion, depth and feeling. Keenly aware of the life the character lives, McTeer plays Hubert with such grace and I truly enjoyed every scene she is in! I hope there is a Best Supporting Actress nod in this for her role.
The film is based on the short story by Irish novelist George Moore. Close is also producing the film and has spent many years trying to bring the film to screen. She has already received recognition from the Tokyo International Film Festival for Best Actress.
Other cast include: Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Viscount Yarrell, Brendan Gleeson as Dr. Halloran, Mark Williams as Sean, Brenda Fricker as Polly, Annie Starke as Aileen, John Light as Percy Smythe-Willard and Emerald Fennel as Mrs. Smythe-Willard.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “Albert Nobbs” three tubs of popcorn out of five. I truly wanted to enjoy the film more but the emotion is missing making it difficult to care for the character. However, it is beautifully filmed and a period piece that shows not only the difficulty of living but a time where diseases were rampant. In that sense the film is very good, but for some that might not be enough.
In the end – a man with a secret and a woman with a dream.