Albert Nobbs is Glenn Close's baby. After playing the titular character onstage, and putting in decades of effort, the odd little tale of a 19th century Irish woman passing as a man has finally arrived onscreen. As a showpiece for Close's ability to nail Nobbs' every nuance, it's unimpeachable. With the help of some cosmetic prostheses, Close is clearly well studied as the quiet, irreparably repressed, fearful, and miserable character. Outside of her technical proficiencies, however, the film only winks at its opportunities to satisfyingly engage with the complex social history roiling just underneath its surface.
by Marjorie Skinner
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