movies: albert nobbs

a man with a secret, a woman with a dreamOnce again I have to start out by thanking Sebastian from Hopscotch Films for putting my name on the door for the preview screening of this movie.

I'll also be giving away some passes next week to see the movie, so look out for that!

Where does one start with Albert Nobbs...

In a lot of ways the movie is very much like it's titular character... quite reserved and more than a bit sad. But at the same time not necessarily particularly sympathetic.

It is, however, a phenomenal performance by Glenn Close. I will admit that I've been more than a little bit enamoured with Ms Close since Dangerous Liaisons, which has to be one of my favourite films of all time.

And I was actually reminded of that movie while watching Albert Nobbs... a woman, compelled by circumstances and the era she lives in to hide her true face from the world and present a mask.

I don't know that I can really describe how great her performance is... it's subtle, completely believable, full of undercurrents and a full and vivid life going on behind the character's eyes which we only get to see in very tiny slices.

The supporting case is also excellent... Brendan Gleeson, Pauline Collins, the insanely attractive Aaron Johnson (shirtless, with the muscles) who manages to make himself incredibly unlikeable.

The person who steals the show however is an actress I was completely unfamiliar with, Janet McTeer. Possibly because she was unknown to me I found it really easy to buy into her character, but in a lot of ways her character's story is actually more interesting and more engaging that Albert's.

However I just flat out don't like Mia Wasikowska. I've not seen her in anything yet where the character wasn't a complete vacuous waste of time. And given that she's such a big part of the plot, I just spent a lot of time wishing Albert would see right through her and drop her like a stone.

It's one of those hard movies to review, plotwise... I don't want to give away valuable plot information, but it's hard to avoid if I don't want to essentially stop the review right here.

Whether it's because the main character holds himself away from everyone else around him, but I found it difficult to connect with him completely and a number of the other characters, most specifically Wasikowska and Johnson were thoroughly unlikeable, so by the end I just felt really sad that it had had to end the way that it did.

To be honest, the ending felt strange, not quite an afterthought, but it'd be like (dorky pop culture reference ahoy) one of the Harry Potter books switching to Ron's perspective for the last chapter... strange.

It's a beautiful looking film, beautifully shot, amazing (if not always beautiful) locations/sets, whatever hair and makeup people were in charge of Ms Close's transformation did a spectacular job.

yani's rating: 3 thrupenny bits out of 5

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