Glenn Close Triumphs
As Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close plays a woman passing as a man in order to work and survive in 19th century Ireland who some thirty years after wearing men’s clothing, finds herself trapped in a prison that she, herself, created. This is a drama that is driven by its characters and focuses on one woman who deals with her loneliness by pretending to be of the opposite sex. She therefore lives in secrecy and Glenn Close transforms herself that the woman disappears and the man emerges. Her performance is one of brilliance. What is so amazing is that it takes a while to forget that Close is really a woman but as the movie progresses, we forget that and totally see the man. When we see her later wearing a dress, we realize that we see her as a woman for the first time. Nobbs spent her entire life trying to blend into society and be unseen and Close’s performance reflects this beautifully.
Nobbs spent her life trying not to be noticed by others and when she meets another woman like her who is acting as a male (Janet McTeer in another brilliant performance) and is married to another woman, Nobbs understands her own potential and he no longer has t be alone. She ceases wanting to be alone. She has been trapped in the person she created and this is the strength of the film. The way that Close portrays this is absolutely amazing. The story is quite devastating.
The scene where McTeer asks Nobbs what her name is blew me away. She answers “Albert”, not once but twice and we see how far she has sunk into her created character. We both sense and feel her pain, her sadness, her grief, her fears and her hopes and these are all seen in her eyes. Albert Nobbs is an enigma; a kind, strange little man.