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Albatross (2012)



Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 1,175

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by BAFTA-nominated Niall MacCormick (Margaret Thatcher: The Long Road to Finchley), Albatross is a funny and moving coming-of-age story starring Sebastian Koch (The Lives of Others, Black Book), Felicity Jones (Cemetery Junction), Julia Ormond (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and newcomer Jessica Brown-Findlay, a leading light in Screen International's prestigious UK Stars of Tomorrow list. My Summer of Love meets An Education, the film tells the story of a family whose world is


Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Tamzin Rafn

Apr 24, 2012

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (12)

Charmingly low-key, the British coming-of-age drama "Albatross" offsets slack plotting with creative casting and sensitive performances.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The lack of subtlety makes the story's familiar beats only more obvious.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: NPR
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The performances are compelling (although Jones is underused) but the thin narrative is less instructive of the strange way female friendships operate than of the way stories get recycled.

January 12, 2012 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Albatross shifts from indie fairy tale to farce, only to accept its fate as a coming-of-age melodrama.

January 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Innocence is lost -- as well as 90 minutes of your precious, precious time.

January 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are dimensions to Emelia that are welcome, but often rudely condensed by director Niall McCormick, who burns through the picture in 85 minutes, never lingering long enough on domestic tension or behavioral awareness.

February 29, 2012 Full Review Source:

A serving of teenage angst with a side order of syrup which, like the films of John Hughes, treats both characters and audience with respect and affection.

January 26, 2012 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Newcomer Brown Findlay brings some laughs and energy to an otherwise predictable tale of family strife that is modestly compelling but ultimately forgettable.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

Yes, the title of Albatross is a metaphor. In fact, the eponymous bird shows up not as a figurative chokehold around the neck of simply one character, but at least three.

January 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Beautifully filmed and acted, but lacking a central perspective.

October 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

German star Koch (The Lives of Others) has a Burton-lite intensity, with Julia Ormond well cast as his wife and Beth's mother.

October 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

A startling performace from Findlay doesn't quite make up for a disappointing third act.

October 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Brown Findlay is Wish You Were Here's Lloyd in spirit, passion and razor-sharp wit, but with far more, darker layers to her character.

October 16, 2011 Full Review Source:

Heavy-handed and unconvincing, it's Fawlty Towers without the jokes.

October 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Niall MacCormick's debut feature has a puppyish eagerness that doesn't quite deliver.

October 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Independent

A little too neat and obvious for its own good but the sassy wit of the dialogue is fun and Findlay is a rising star.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Predictable and too much like Wish You Were Here, My Summer Of Love and An Education, all of which were stronger; but the performances are modestly engaging.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

It's an interesting premise; though despite being evidently autobiographical in origin, the fictional treatment has made it look sentimental and unreal.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

A coming-of-age and end-of-marriage story.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

Strong performances give wings to a featherweight story.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Audience Reviews for Albatross

Decent movie. A little slow. Nice ending...
November 6, 2012

Super Reviewer

Excellent movie free spirited girl meets strictly raised girl and the fun begins, all while the free spirited girl has an affair with girls father, my review sucks the movie is outstanding, a must see. 5 stars 10-1-12
October 10, 2012
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Cast: Felicity Jones, Jessica Brown-Findlay, Sebastian Koch, Julia Ormond, Harry Treadaway, Josef Altin

Director: Niall MacCormick

Summary: The studious life of Oxford-bound Beth is turned upside down when would-be novelist Emelia takes a job at the seaside hotel owned by Beth's family. But things get dicey when the free-spirited Emelia begins a fling with Beth's feckless father.

My Thoughts: "I enjoyed the characters more then I did the film itself, if that makes sense. The problem I had was the relationship that unfolds between Emeilia and Johnathan. I just didn't like it nor did I really think it was necessary. Being a daddy's girl myself, I thought Beth and her father's relationship was sweet. Her mother was a, well I don't wanna use such vulgar words considering I have been warned. But you must know what I was gonig to say. *cough bitch* : } Emeilia is my favorite character in the movie because I seem to lean towards the more tortured souls. Although she is smart and has a talent for writing, she is stuck. Stuck with no real education, since she was kicked out of school, and stuck taking care of her grandparents and with dead end jobs. So you want to root for her and for things to get better for her as well. I liked Beth as well, and the two together had a nice balanced friendship. Great acting and characters with an OK story-line makes this movie worth seeing at least once."
June 16, 2012

Super Reviewer

"Albatross" starts with a kiss between Emilia Conan Doyle(Jessica Brown Findlay) and Jake(Harry Treadaway) before the firecrackers. That explains why Emilia gets to ride in a police car on the way to her first day of work as a maid at a guesthouse where Beth(Felicity Jones) is tending the front desk while studying, so her dad(Sebastian Koch) can pretend he is writing upstairs while actually masturbating. So, it is a surprise to Beth's mother(Julia Ormond) that Emilia gets invited round to dinner, to which she brings a bottle of wine that she flashed her ID for.

"Albatross" starts promisingly enough but then stalls in a sea of quirkiness. That's not to mention going the old tired route of a disruptive force introduced to a family going nowhere and liberating everybody. And with predictable results. Plus stereotypes. The writing angle might have had a chance if played correctly which it isn't as it is thrown to the curbside in the most desultory manner imaginable. Instead, it seems all the characters are suffering under the weight of the past, especially Beth who has to deal with her parents. However, the actors do a good job trying to breathe life into such cliches while very much out of their usual comfort zones. Nice scenery, though.
September 5, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Emelia: I can't do this to Beth anymore.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Beth: She's great isn't she Dad?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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