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Albert Nobbs (2012)


Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 148
Fresh: 83
Rotten: 65

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 20
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 9,587


Movie Info

Five-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close stars in this emotional and thought-provoking tale of a woman forced to live as a man in 19th Century Ireland. After thirty years of keeping up the charade, a new love threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard to build.. -- (C) Roadside Attractions

R (for some sexuality, brief nudity and language)
Directed By:
Written By:
Glenn Close , John Banville
In Theaters:
May 15, 2012
Box Office:
Roadside Attractions - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Albert Nobbs

All Critics (154) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (83) | Rotten (65) | DVD (4)

The grim, grey-hued result is about as far from contemporary drag chic as it's possible to get - appropriate for the subject matter, perhaps, but hardly the stuff of satisfying cinema.

Full Review… | April 24, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

The film surrounding the performance is not always as strong, but the centre holds, and magnificently so.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Albert is at the heart of it all and we see her through her own prism of vulnerability, resulting in a very human story about the search for love, acceptance and understanding of the self.

Full Review… | February 2, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

A movie that, like its title character, never quite dares to let itself discover what it really wants to be.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
Top Critic

What you feel, watching Close, is not that you are watching gender being bent into new, absorbing shapes but that you might as well have stayed home and leafed through a book on Magritte.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
New Yorker
Top Critic

[A] strange, sad, mesmerizing little movie.

Full Review… | January 27, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

An unadventurous film that has only the smallest of fires in its belly.

Full Review… | September 8, 2013

There's no contrived moralizing bridge to modern relevance, no overt nod to contemporary gender politics and no real reason why Close shouldn't get some respect this awards season.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013

Close, in one of her greatest performances, is quiet, still, almost invisible to those around her. It's not a stunt or an impersonation, it's a perfect realization of what someone in her position might endure just to eat.

Full Review… | January 3, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Close's performance is no less sensational than Heath Ledger's as the close mouthed Ennis in Brokeback Mountain.

Full Review… | July 15, 2012
Knight at the Movies

One's admiration for Close's work becomes more for her versatility and fearlessness than a connection with the character she portrays.

Full Review… | July 2, 2012

Glenn Close does her best Clay Aiken impression as she pretends to be a male butler in 19th century Ireland.

Full Review… | May 15, 2012
Fort Bend Sun

File under interesting failure, although with three Oscar nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Costume), there must surely be people out there somewhere convinced by this relentlessly tasteful affair.

Full Review… | May 2, 2012

Glenn Close's character couldn't be more buttoned-up, but beneath the reserve she conveys a lifetime of loneliness, hurt and quiet heartache.

Full Review… | April 30, 2012
Movie Talk

...Academy-Award nominated performances might be reason enough to see Albert Nobbs

Full Review… | April 29, 2012
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

McTeer's performance is one of the most convincing of its kind I've ever seen.

Full Review… | April 28, 2012
Observer [UK]

Thee finished work appears fatally stranded between feminist polemic and accidental magic realism.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Irish Times

Here's a film that looks good, has production values to die for and an all-star cast who mostly make their mark.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
This is London

It's a virtuoso portrayal and any hints of femininity vanish completely in Close's intense, studied portrayal.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Liverpool Echo

It's Mrs Doubtfire without knobs on.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Sun Online

Looking like a cross between Dublin-born Wilfrid Brambell's Steptoe, Robin Williams and Jamie Bell, it's an extraordinary performance, requiring little dialogue for us to see the pain deep in his/her soul.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Birmingham Post

It's a film whose unrelaxed body language screams: "Give me prizes!"

Full Review… | April 26, 2012

For all its gender-bending intrigue, this is a cataclysmically sexless film: seldom has drag felt like such a drag.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Daily Telegraph

The movie is sometimes charged with real tension and passion. And yet Close as Nobbs is an absence.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Financial Times

It is a million miles away from the frizzy haired bunny-boiling vixen of Fatal Attraction but every bit as disturbing.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012

At once stilted and melodramatic, this is a desperately ill-conceived adaptation of a fascinating story.

Full Review… | April 26, 2012
Little White Lies

Audience Reviews for Albert Nobbs

A tender and quite unique film that is more about the performances I would suggest than it is about the story. That's not to say the story is bad, I'm saying that the performances are very good. "Life without decency is unbearable", when Glenn Close uttered those words there wasn't a dry eye in the house, the sentiment is there but the makers have tried a little too hard to make this into a tear-jerker which at times can detract from what is a very tender and beautiful film. Glenn Close is wonderful as Albert Nobbs and quite frankly Janet McTeer was robbed at the Oscars.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

The raves about Glenn Close's performance are deserved, and this is in many ways an important story, but the film is unfortunately lifeless and the subplot's a real stinker. Almost a great movie, but not.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

There are many comparisons that I can make between this film and its predecessor, "Yentl." It does not have the same urgency as the Barbra Streisand classic, because the film doesn't adequately show the problems of being a woman. You can argue that Mia Wasikowska's character contrasts Albert, showing the role that Albert would have had to take in society if not for her cross-dressing, but her fate isn't shown until the very end of the film. In between we just get to know Albert, who seems more predatory and awkward than persecuted. Albert, as a character, is very interesting, but it takes a rather long time for us to find out why she is driven to do what she does, and who she is. In "Yentl" we know the stakes from the very beginning: that she cannot cope with the problems enforced against women, and so she rebels by cross-dressing. Nobbs' identity as a woman is witheld from the start of the film, which was interesting in concept, but it is not something that remains a large surprise for the audience, even if they're unaware of the pretext before viewing. Albert acts strange, hoards her money, talks to no one, and keeps pristine and pleasant in all situations. Instead of feeling that this is her moral code (to stay in character and one that has served her well) she has now identified as a gentleman. This is broken up in several instances, especially when we're introduced to her contemporary, Hubert (McTeer). That was a nice change of pace, and including that Hubert and her wife were very much in love makes the film feel more special in that regard. Still, there's very little that distinguishes this film from pure melodrama.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

This is a movie about the fragile lives of women in the 1800's in Ireland. Most women who didn't have a brother, husband, or father to support her had only three choices: starve to death, prostitution, or if available, a job as a maid, or kitchen help.This film portrays rare women who sought, and held, jobs usually reserved only for men. In order to do so, they needed to masquerade as a man, at all times. Secrecy was crucial. This film was well done, and had the best of actors. It was slow paced, but I found it really interesting..and touching. (I agree with some people, though. Glenn Close did a really good job, but she did come off a little creepy. Apparently, that was her take on this character)

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Albert Nobbs Quotes

Albert Nobbs:
Life without decency is unbearable.
– Submitted by Jim M (2 years ago)
Dr. Holloran:
Why aren't you in fancy dress?
Albert Nobbs:
I'm a waiter.
Dr. Holloran:
Well I'm a doctor. We are both disguised as ourselves.
– Submitted by Zaenal A (2 years ago)
You are the strangest man I have ever met.
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
Dr. Holloran:
We are both disguised as ourselves.
– Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)

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