Written by / 1/28/2012 / No comments / , , ,

ALBERT NOBBS

title: Albert Nobbs
year: 2011
cast: Glenn Close, Janet McTeer, Mia Wasikowska
rating: ***

Glenn Close, resembling an aged Peter Pan mixed with Levon Helm (Sissy Spacek’s father) in COAL MINER’S DAUGHTER, has some good moments: especially when reflecting on a childhood experience which led to… for means of employment but, as we eventually realize, deeper reasons… becoming a man who works in a 19th century Irish Hotel. But most of the time she’s got the countenance of a frightened deer, and seems too old for the part. And Mia Wasikowska as Helen, the gorgeous hotel maid that Albert loves, is too young – making the age difference feel odd to not only the audience, but Helen as well. Perhaps this is intentional: Albert’s yearning to find her, or rather, his place in the world – and dreams of owning a Tobacco Store – seem as farfetched as landing Helen as a future wife, who’s in love with a brash young drifter displaying all the negative aspects of the male species: including charm! But the best character, and the glue to the entire picture, is Janet McTeer as “Mr. Moore,” a confident freelance painter whose secret mirrors Albert’s. The scenes where both discover their true identity (to each other) are more surprising to the characters than the audience, since they really don’t look like men: but the acting, especially one hilarious scene as both go for an awkward stroll dressed like elegant women, makes it all seem genuine. And the biggest achievement is turning one contained setting – the posh Hotel – into a world of its own: giving each player their own importance therein.
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