Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Albert Nobbs": A Daring Story Rendered Static 

Wednesday, Jan 25 2012
Comments

Fulfilling a mission that has consumed her for almost two decades, Glenn Close — as producer, co-writer, and lead — brings to the screen the titular character, a woman who passes as a man in 1890s Ireland, a role for which she won an Obie in 1982. The result of this passion project? Getting to look like Bruce Jenner in a bowler and high starched collar. Close's prosthetic makeup renders her face too immobile, a marked contrast with her unfixed accent; both highlight the pitfalls of a star's idée fixe. It's a shame, because the material — based on a novella by George Moore published in the 1927 collection Celibate Lives — deserves better. A punctilious butler at a Dublin hotel, Albert, who began his gender illusion at age 14 for economic and physical survival, can no longer remember the name he was born with. A friendship with housepainter Hubert Page (Janet McTeer), also deploying an FTM masquerade but enjoying a not-so-celibate life with a seamstress spouse, convinces lonely, pence-pinching Albert to pursue his dream of petite bourgeois propriety: opening a tobacco shop and trying to persuade a pretty hotel co-worker (Mia Wasikowska) to be his bride. But the characters' daring choices, made so as not to live "without decency"—that is, as penniless, unattached women in the late-Victorian era—are always undercut by Close's too-conventional stunt performance.

About The Author

Melissa Anderson

Related Locations

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"