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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thirty Years In The Making, Glenn Close Finally Brings The Quietly Powerful "Albert Nobbs" To The Big Screen
The film incarnation of "Albert Nobbs" exists as a tremendous example of perseverance and fortitude. Glenn Close first performed a stage version of the play (adapted from a short story from Irish author George Moore) in 1982. She fell in love with the material and spent the next fifteen years trying to put together a film deal. About ten years ago, the film was finally...
Published on February 27, 2012 by K. Harris

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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good, But Not Great
Although the film has much to recommend it, it's not as impressive as it could have been. Glenn Close's performance is far too restrained, to the extent that she hardly seemed more than a wax figure most of the time. Janet McTeer's performance, on the other hand, is nothing short of spectacular. Here is a woman who has had to live her life in disguise but has found a way...
Published on May 26, 2012 by D. L. Sniderman


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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thirty Years In The Making, Glenn Close Finally Brings The Quietly Powerful "Albert Nobbs" To The Big Screen, February 27, 2012
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
The film incarnation of "Albert Nobbs" exists as a tremendous example of perseverance and fortitude. Glenn Close first performed a stage version of the play (adapted from a short story from Irish author George Moore) in 1982. She fell in love with the material and spent the next fifteen years trying to put together a film deal. About ten years ago, the film was finally green-lit but then scrapped when financing fell through. Now almost thirty years after appearing on stage as Albert Nobbs, Close has her opportunity to share this quiet little story with a larger audience. In addition to starring in the piece, she co-wrote the screenplay, acted as a producer, and even wrote the lyrics for the closing song. I think you could call this a labor of love! Although mainstream press reaction has been somewhat mixed, Close has received numerous accolades (as has co-star Janet McTeer) including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. It seems hard to fathom that Close lost out on her previous five nominations and hasn't been in the running since 1988 with "Dangerous Liaisons." But it's certainly good to see her steadfast efforts being recognized.

Close is quite restrained and stoic as the titular Albert Nobbs. Set in nineteenth century Ireland, the film tells the story of a woman (Close) who has dedicated thirty years of her life passing as a man in order to make a living. Stolid and reliable, Albert has squirreled away a small fortune through the years and hopes to realize the dream of becoming a shopkeeper. Seemingly content, Albert's life is upended when he meets McTeer--a painter who has a lot more in common with Albert than it seems possible. This new friend opens up a number of interesting possibilities for Albert, making the point that life does not have to be lived alone. Albert starts to court a young co-worker (still as a man) who may have ulterior motives of her own. The film starts as a study of manners, gets a bit more frisky with the introduction of McTeer, and turns a bit darker as a number of unexpected tragedies strike (both large and small). The play of genders is always fascinating and the idea of living a lie just to get by ends up having quite a bit of resonance.

Close is tight-lipped and reserved throughout. It's a strong performance highlighted as much by what she doesn't say as what she does. McTeer really energizes the picture with enthusiasm and humor, and much of the film's success rests on her shoulders. Two terrific up-and-comers, Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson, also play pivotal roles (much more interesting casting than the originally slated Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom). As Close becomes closer to Wasikowska, the gender bending dynamic evolves in an interesting way. Displaying both male and female impulses inwardly, Albert both wants to take care of the young lady and have a confidante. The cast is rounded out by a stable of reliable British actors including Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker, Brendan Gleeson, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The movie has a quiet power. In the long run, it may not be for everyone. It's a little reserved at times, at others the plotting veers toward melodrama. But in the end, the actors ground the piece and make it worth investing in. Close and McTeer really provide one of the year's most fascinating screen couples. KGHarris, 2/12.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful!, April 10, 2012
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
This is by far the best movie I have seen in years. Glenn close's finest work. The movie emphasizes the plight of women in 19th Century Ireland. If it was not for Meryl Streeps unbelievable portrayal of Margaret Thatcher, there is no doubt Glenn Close would have got the Oscar. Janet McTeer did an awesome job. It is a pity in this day and age that movies like this do not break the box office and movies like "hunger games" make a gazillion dollars. If you like real acting and a good story this movie is for you
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well done., February 29, 2012
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
A woman works at a hotel and has been living as a man for most of her life. She dreams of one day owning her own business. She comes across another woman living such a life, and also goes about courting a lady that she works with. This is a charming film that depicts the difficulty of a double life and achieving your dreams. Glenn Close is quite convincing as a woman passing herself off as a man and the performances of all the players are outstanding. The Albert Nobbs character is very likeable and I found myself hoping for something positive to come out of the man's/woman's experience. The film is never slow, and every aspect of the movie is very well done. This is a good one to see.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thirty Years In The Making, Glenn Close Finally Brings The Quietly Powerful "Albert Nobbs" To The Big Screen, April 10, 2012
The film incarnation of "Albert Nobbs" exists as a tremendous example of perseverance and fortitude. Glenn Close first performed a stage version of the play (adapted from a short story from Irish author George Moore) in 1982. She fell in love with the material and spent the next fifteen years trying to put together a film deal. About ten years ago, the film was finally green-lit but then scrapped when financing fell through. Now almost thirty years after appearing on stage as Albert Nobbs, Close has her opportunity to share this quiet little story with a larger audience. In addition to starring in the piece, she co-wrote the screenplay, acted as a producer, and even wrote the lyrics for the closing song. I think you could call this a labor of love! Although mainstream press reaction has been somewhat mixed, Close has received numerous accolades (as has co-star Janet McTeer) including an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. It seems hard to fathom that Close lost out on her previous five nominations and hasn't been in the running since 1988 with "Dangerous Liaisons." But it's certainly good to see her steadfast efforts being recognized.

Close is quite restrained and stoic as the titular Albert Nobbs. Set in nineteenth century Ireland, the film tells the story of a woman (Close) who has dedicated thirty years of her life passing as a man in order to make a living. Stolid and reliable, Albert has squirreled away a small fortune through the years and hopes to realize the dream of becoming a shopkeeper. Seemingly content, Albert's life is upended when he meets McTeer--a painter who has a lot more in common with Albert than it seems possible. This new friend opens up a number of interesting possibilities for Albert, making the point that life does not have to be lived alone. Albert starts to court a young co-worker (still as a man) who may have ulterior motives of her own. The film starts as a study of manners, gets a bit more frisky with the introduction of McTeer, and turns a bit darker as a number of unexpected tragedies strike (both large and small). The play of genders is always fascinating and the idea of living a lie just to get by ends up having quite a bit of resonance.

Close is tight-lipped and reserved throughout. It's a strong performance highlighted as much by what she doesn't say as what she does. McTeer really energizes the picture with enthusiasm and humor, and much of the film's success rests on her shoulders. Two terrific up-and-comers, Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson, also play pivotal roles (much more interesting casting than the originally slated Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom). As Close becomes closer to Wasikowska, the gender bending dynamic evolves in an interesting way. Displaying both male and female impulses inwardly, Albert both wants to take care of the young lady and have a confidante. The cast is rounded out by a stable of reliable British actors including Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker, Brendan Gleeson, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The movie has a quiet power. In the long run, it may not be for everyone. It's a little reserved at times, at others the plotting veers toward melodrama. But in the end, the actors ground the piece and make it worth investing in. Close and McTeer really provide one of the year's most fascinating screen couples. KGHarris, 2/12.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Dear Jesus, I don't know what makes people live such miserable lives.', April 14, 2012
By 
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
There is a comment spoken by maid Helen (Mia Wasikowska) as Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) tries to court her: `You are the strangest man I have ever met.' And that is most assuredly true - Albert Nobbs is a woman trapped in a man's body. Literally. Because Albert is physically, a woman who has escaped the smothering poverty of 19th-century Dublin by cutting her hair, putting on a cutaway, and taking a job as a waiter in a small, posh hotel. It's a difficult masquerade, but one she's done for decades, while carefully saving her shillings - tips she likely wouldn't get if she were just a woman, working in the kitchen - to eventually by a Tobacconist shop and live a normal life.

ALBERT NOBBS is a brilliant film, a film adapted form a short by George Moore, extended by István Szabó, and adapted for the screen by John Banville, Gabriella Prekop, and star Glenn Close (Close starred in the stage version of this story years ago), and directed with sensitive finesse by Rodrigo García (son of Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez and responsible of the penetrating television series `In Treatment'). The atmosphere of Dublin as a city is captured both in the scenery and in the psychological sense - a city that survived typhoid fever and extensive years of poverty yet still supporting a wealthy upper class.

We are slowly introduced to a classy hotel run by Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins) and with a staff of `servants/waiters' that includes the quiet and reserved Albert Nobbs. Mrs. Baker hires a down and out Lad named Joe (Aaron Johnson, remembered for his impressive performance in `Nowhere Boy') to fix the broken boiler. This allows Joe to begin to court the maid Helen: Joe discovers that Albert Nobbs seems sweet on Helen and urges her to get enough money out of dating Nobbs to get them fare to flee the poverty of Dublin and go to America. Mrs. Baker also hires a painter, Mr Page (Janet McTeer) and while Mr Page is working there Mrs Baker insists he share a bed with Albert Nobbs. It is during this terrifying trauma for Nobbs that the two women dressed as men discover each other's secret disguises and Nobbs learns that Page is married to Cathleen (Bronagh Gallagher). Nobbs future hopes brighten - she is saving all her money hidden in the floor of her room - until many factors takes turns of the worse: Typhoid fever strikes which decimates the hotel's business putting everyone out of a job, Helen becomes pregnant by the unwilling father Joe, Cathleen falls victim, etc. The story comes to a tragic ending, but leaves a ray of hope that perhaps Nobb's and Page's brave lives have made a difference.

In addition to the brilliant performance by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, the rest of the cast is excellent - Mia Wasikowska, Phyllida Law, Aaron Johnson, Brenda Fricker, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Brendan Gleeson as the alcoholic but caring Dr. Holloran, Jonathan Rhys Meyers to name only a few of the fine actors in very small roles. This is a deeply moving film, polished to a fare-thee-well in every aspect, and for this viewer it is one of the finest films to be released in 2011. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 12
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm rather conflicted but not in a bad way..., May 19, 2012
By 
Cherri (Central Florida) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
Wow, this is an odd yet compelling movie. I loved it and yet I thought it could have been so much more. Glenn Close was amazing as Albert but I thought her performance was a little too stoic and reticent. Janet McTeer as Hubert Page turned in a stellar portrayal of a woman living as a man.

I never quite believed Close as Albert, her facial bone structure is too womanly, her stature too small. I was however completely taken in by McTeer's performance as Hubert Page. Her stature and mannerisms were very believable until she whipped out some mighty fine looking breasts to show Albert she had no reason to fear discovery.

The turn of the century costumes and scenery were fabulous, the performances overall first rate. Even though I am conflicted about this movie it really struck me somehow. I still highly recommend it and will most likely view it again.

It is a sad story, "Why do people live such miserable lives"? Poverty and loneliness usually.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glen Close tour de force acting and a many layered story, January 19, 2013
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This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
First, the plot: The movie Albert Nobbs is set in 19 century Ireland. In this time and place, poverty meant misery and usually a bad death. Glenn Close plays a 40-year-old woman who as a child received some convent education but is ultimately an abandoned orphan. Having been attacked by the older children, presumably raped she ultimately assumes the character of a man Albert Nobbs. As Albert she becomes a waiter, finding that this way she can receive the higher pay normally granted to men and gain the slight protection of a male persona. Hard work has enabled Albert to amass just enough money to dream of opening a tobacconist shop. Having lived in a world tightly inside her head Albert dreams of adding a companion to her life. We do not know if she admits to any sexual identity which is to say this is not a movie about sex or lesbianism.

Glenn close portrays her character brilliantly. Employing makeup that does nothing to soften what being a 40-year-old working person might look like, she is only allowed changes in facial expressions to portray her character's inner life. Because of what is a very strictly hierarchical world almost every character in this movie is restricted in when, where and how they can express themselves. Consequently much of this movie is expressed with the same technique.

This is not a chick flick, a movie about the difficulties of being gay or lesbian, or merely a character study of how life was hard 175 years ago in Ireland. Consider what Ireland looked like 175 years ago. It was intensely Catholic, deeply divided along class lines, and consequently power flowed, often with a heavy hand, downward.

I've not seen it suggested elsewhere but I propose the following describes this very deliberately paced movie.
This movie is a tragedy. Albert Nobbs is one of life's victims. Hard, dedicated and loyal work combined with an extremely minimalist lifestyle has allowed her to accumulate money. She is very close to her goal of achieving some kind of independence. What is immediately obvious to the maid she attempts to court, is that the location Albert has chosen for her shop is poorly located. Consequently it will not support Albert's dream future. That is Albert's hard work and consistent saving, her life of sacrifice in favor of her dream, will end badly.
One of the themes introduced very early in this movie is the notion that a character who has any power over another will abuse that power. People can be fired for any reason, including jealousy or merely to please a passing if influential customer. In Albert's personal history older children abused her because they can. Even her employer, Ms. Baker, mostly a nice person is more feared than respected by her hotel staff. Throughout this movie it is clear that in a world where there is no enforcement of the concept of human dignity, there will be no recognition of human value.

This is a world with "prayer in school", everyone considers themselves a good Christian, and government is almost nonexistent. A typhus outbreak will cause the hotel to be placed in quarantine. This is the only appearance of government, and the only substantial use of power for good. No one in this world has union protection. No one would think of suing anyone. It is assumed that the more powerful may exert power in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

In the world of Albert Nobbs, companionship is necessary as much to support survival as to serve any human need, sexual or otherwise. A lover, a spouse, or any person with whom you can share intimacy represents the only person who was likely to recognize your value as a human being.

Clearly this is not an action movie or a light entertainment. If you are looking for background noise while you are doing other things or just an excuse to eat popcorn this is not your movie. If you have a couple hours to seriously think about what the world might look like if you are 100% self- dependent Albert Nobbs may help guide your thinking
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good, But Not Great, May 26, 2012
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
Although the film has much to recommend it, it's not as impressive as it could have been. Glenn Close's performance is far too restrained, to the extent that she hardly seemed more than a wax figure most of the time. Janet McTeer's performance, on the other hand, is nothing short of spectacular. Here is a woman who has had to live her life in disguise but has found a way to be happy, and looks to be very comfortable, not only in the disguise, but in her own skin. The only exception is when the two women don dresses for a brief foray into public. They both look incredibly awkward, but that's great acting for you. So many questions were left unanswered, which was frustrating. It was hinted at that we might find out who Albert's mother was, but that never happened. We didn't even find out what her real name had been. The sets and costumes were amazing and really gave the whole film a feeling of authenticity. I might have given the film 4 stars because of the great acting on the part of the others in the cast: a terrific Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Brenda Fricker, Aaron Johnson and Mia Wasikowska; but I took off an additional star because whoever produced the DVD forgot to put in scene selection functionality, which was really stupid. So, there ya go.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not usually my type of movie. I didn't want to really watch it. I'm so glad I did. Amazing and wonderful. I say A+, March 19, 2012
By 
Tony Heck (Belgrade, MT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
"Dear Jesus, I don't know what makes people live such miserable lives." Albert (Close) works as a waiter in one of Ireland's most impressive and upper-class hotels. He has been saving his money for years in hopes of starting a new life. When a painter shows up he begins a friendship with him that starts to allow him to be confident in ending the lie he has been living. Albert his a woman. I have to admit I was almost dreading watching this movie. I am not a fan of any of the PBS type British movies or any of the Jane Austin type movies. From the preview this is what I was expecting. While it did have the feel of a movie like that I was completely sucked in and blown away by this movie. Glenn Close is absolutely wonderful in this movie and I am not sure how she didn't win the Oscar. This is a movie that is not for everyone but take it from me and give it a chance. You will love it as much as I did. The movie almost left me speechless by its beauty. This is not usually my type of movie at all but I loved it. Overall, a movie that deserves to be watched by more of an audience then it will get. I surprisingly give it an A+
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film in every way; acting, screenplay, costumes, January 6, 2013
By 
C. B Collins Jr. (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Albert Nobbs (DVD)
This is an exceptional film in every way. It has a unique but fully human storyline; it is perfectly acted with an outstanding cast; the screenplay is perfect - not a word misspent; and the setting and costumes are accurate and give a sense of time and place to the entire production. I am a complete fan of this excellent film and would strongly recommend it.

Glenn Close does one of the most outstanding acting jobs in film history and compares to Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker for skill and excellence. Only Elizabeth Taylor's performance in Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe can top Glenn Close's performance. It is restrained and perfectly executed. This was also my first introduction to the actress Janet McTeer, who plays the role of a poor widow who takes on her deceased husband's name, masculine role, and profession to survive in an economically depressed Dublin. Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson play essential roles in the film and do an excellent job.

The story is compelling on a personal level and on a social justice level. Albert Nobbs is the story of a young illegitimate child placed in an orphanage and then raped as an adolescent who becomes a male waiter to survive financially. Albert dreams of being a small tobacco shop owner one day. However, the interactions with Mr. Sands, played by Janet McTeer, open Albert up to the idea of having a life partner who will help him with his business. A series of events follows that are tragic and yet part of the human frailty we all encounter.

The film is also an interesting study in gender and sexuality and is one of the best examples of separating gender identity and sexual desire. In this case economic and social forces put Albert into the position of assuming a male gender identity most of his life and not much is ever revealed about his sexual desires, only his desire for a companion in life, something surely we all deserve. Such an excellent film deserves a wide viewership. It is an exceptional film.
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Albert Nobbs [Blu-ray]
Albert Nobbs [Blu-ray] by Glenn Close (Blu-ray - 2012)
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