We are all disguised as ourselves.
In 19th century Dublin, a woman (Glenn Close) has created a life for herself as a man, working in a hotel as a waiter. Close’s labor of love, a role she first played on stage in 1982, finally reached the screens; reviews were mixed and the box office disappointing, but the star nevertheless gives a moving performance as the sly but romantically naive Nobbs, matched by Janet McTeer as another woman in disguise who’s adopted a bolder masculinity. An interesting but slow-moving account of the few choices facing women in those days, elevated by the cast and strength of its tragic aspects.
2011-U.S.-Ireland. 113 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Screenplay: Glenn Close, John Banville, Gabriella Prekop. Short Story: George Moore (“The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs”). Song: “Lay Your Head Down” (Brian Byrne, Glenn Close; performed by Sinéad O’Connor). Cast: Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs), Mia Wasikowska (Helen Dawes), Aaron Johnson (Joe), Janet McTeer (Hubert Page), Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker… Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brendan Gleeson, Phyllida Law.
Trivia: Orlando Bloom and Amanda Seyfriend were allegedly considered for roles. Originally, this project was meant to launch in the 1990s with István Szabó directing.