Albert Nobbs - Review

THE SWITCH-UP Glenn Close as Albert Nobbs

The chief selling point of Albert Nobbs is the novelty of Glenn Close applying her enjoyable theatrical intensity to the title role of a 19th-century Irishwoman who has been masquerading as a man for decades to find employment as a butler. Nobbs — who has inhabited the disguise for so long that he (I'll stick with the male pronoun) doesn't even know his own real name — works at a snooty hotel presided over by a wily businesswoman played by Pauline Collins. Devotees of Upstairs, Downstairs — that great 1970s British TV inspiration for Downton Abbey — will surely remember Collins as Sarah the saucy parlor maid. That may explain why Close has chosen a physical transformation that makes her look like the Upstairs, Downstairs butler, Hudson. But Close's decision to play Nobbs as a pinched, emotionally remote servant with closely combed wavy hair, a grim mouth, no eyelashes, and an unwavering facial expression of invisibility only makes this hermetic little story about the uses and limits of masquerade that much more easily erased from memory. Read more...,,20518757,00.html 


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