Friday, February 10, 2012

Albert Nobbs A Little Gem of a Film

What a year for great acting performances by women! Six-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close should have won by now, and in this year 2012 when her chances to win are slim, it is indeed a shame that she has one of her finest roles as Albert Nobbs. This is not a drag but an honest account of an Irish girl in 1898 Dublin who had disguised as a boy after being sexually abused and then remained that way for 30 years in an effort to find work. She and Janet McTeer, also a woman disguised as a man, become buddies and strike up a friendship that by film's end, in spite of some tragedies, is guaranteed to pay off.
It is also great to see Pauline Collins - remember her as Shirley Valentine and then in City of Joy with Patrick Swayzee? Another fine actress playing Nobbs' boss, bitchy Mrs. Baker who runs the Morrison Hotel with an iron fist. Also on board is Academy Award winner Brenda Fricker as Polly the cook, a small role to be sure but she hardly goes unnoticed. Mia Wasikowska plays beautiful Helen Dawes and Aaron Johnson is Joe the sexy young rascal who wins and then breaks her heart. Yes, this is a love story - one for Nobbs as well - so be prepared to shed a tear or two. Rodrigo Garcia directs sublimely this quaint, poetic movie that allows us a glimpse of 19th century Ireland and its ferocious tenacity to survive at all costs.