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Albert Nobbs (2012)



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

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 9,566

My Rating

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



Glenn Close, John Banville

May 15, 2012


Roadside Attractions - Official Site External Icon

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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.

April 24, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Slate
Top Critic IconTop 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.

January 30, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (7)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[A] strange, sad, mesmerizing little movie.

January 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

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.

April 21, 2013 Full Review Source: Las Vegas CityLife

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.

January 3, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
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.

July 2, 2012 Full Review Source:

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

May 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Fort Bend Sun
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.

May 2, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4

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

April 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
Movie Talk

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

April 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comment (1)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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

April 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

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

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Irish Times
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.

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

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

April 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo

It's Mrs Doubtfire without knobs on.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Sun Online
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.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: UTV

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

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
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.
July 4, 2014

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.
May 1, 2014

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.
February 3, 2014

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)
March 22, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Albert Nobbs: Life without decency is unbearable.
    – Submitted by Jim M (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Holloran: Why aren't you in fancy dress?
    2. Albert Nobbs: I'm a waiter.
    3. Dr. Holloran: Well I'm a doctor. We are both disguised as ourselves.
    – Submitted by Zaenal A (2 years ago)
    1. Helen: You are the strangest man I have ever met.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Dr. Holloran: We are both disguised as ourselves.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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