Title: Albert Nobbs
Country: UK, Ireland
Director: Rodrigo García
Music: Brian Byrne
Cinematography: Michael McDonough
Maria Doyle Kennedy
Jonathan Rhys Meyers
A Febiofest screening, it is a quirkily deployed Ireland period homosexuality drama centers on a man-guised woman serves as a waiter in a hotel. (Glenn Close is the one holding the reins, leading star, co-producer, co-writer, co-songwriter, not to mention she has already won a Tony award for the same role way early in 1982 from its Broadway rendition, director Rodrigo García, also is Close’s longtime co-collaborator, NINE LIVES 2005, THINGS YOU CAN TELL JUST BY LOOKING AT HER 1999). A closeted lesbian covets for love blindly for the first time in her life she dares and all her pipe dream has to be shattered into piece by the heartless reality.
The film does in a meticulous manner to portray Albert Nobbs’ singular life, campaigning a standard slow-burn narrative with a muted palette and pictorial frames, cautiously underscores the undertow of blending its various characters and steadily emits an empowering aftershock of the disquieting culmination. There are a sprinkling peccadilloes, the character study of Albert Nobbs is too thin to show more gripping introspection from him, a slenderly prefigured plot-turning misfortune conspicuously awaits ahead, which induces some let-up of cinematic reverberation after all.
At the end of the day, the film has successfully procured 3 Oscar nomination, including the much-hyped one for Glenn Close’s sixth nomination after a 22-year long snub, shameful of me I have missed all her first five nominated films (I will make up for it later). Her restrained acting is not the year’s best (compared with her arch enemy Meryl Streep’s more extravagantly layered THE IRON LADY 2011), but sits comfortably among my top 5 ranking. The real scene-stealer is another Oscar-nominated performance from a long-overlooked Janet McTeer, whose intimidating height (1.85m) has fudged her from many potential possibilities in her film career, and it’s a gratifying blessing she finally has found one she is electrified to present on screen (my best Supporting Actress in 2011 so far). Among others, Mia Wasikowska presents an enthralling young Gwenyth Paltrow delicacy and self-absorption, her future could show more legs than Ms. Chris Martin.