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Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer, Brendan Gleeson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson ... see more see more... , Brenda Fricker , Antonia Campbell-Hughes , Pauline Collins , Maria Doyle Kennedy , Mark Williams , James Greene , Serena Brabazon , Michael McElhatton , Dolores Mullally , Bonnie McCormack , Phyllida Law , Kenneth Collard , Judy Donovan , Jonathan Rhys Meyers , Phoebe Waller-Bridge , Emerald Fennell , John Light , Daniel Costello , Angeline Ball , Philip O'Sullivan , Katie Long , Katie O'Brien , Mark Doherty , Rhys Burke , Lauren Kinsella , Katie Ann McDonough , Kathleen Warner Yates , Cate MacGabhann , Bronagh Gallagher , Antoinette Healy , Annie Starke , Cathy White , Malcolm Blacow , Lily Melcher , Lucie Melcher , Raul Riva , Juno , Amanda Seyfried , Orlando Bloom

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,... read more read more... a new love threatens to destroy everything she's worked so hard to build.. -- (C) Roadside Attractions

Flixster Users

48% liked it

9,567 ratings


56% liked it

148 critics

R, 1 hr. 53 min.

Directed by: Rodrigo García

Release Date: January 27, 2012

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DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012

Stats: 806 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (806)

  • July 4, 2014
    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 was... read moren'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.
  • May 1, 2014
    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.
  • February 3, 2014
    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 cont... read morerasts 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.
  • March 22, 2013
    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 wome... read moren 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)
  • August 26, 2012
    "I found the film to be sad and depressing. Albert Nobbs leads a very lonely life. I felt sorry for the way she had to live and I kept hoping she would succeed in her dream. Albert's story of how she became to be a man was heartbreaking and I just wanted to give her a hug. What a... read moren awful way to have to live your life. Glenn Close gives and absolutely great performance. She is one of the most talented actresses to date. She was just fantastic. All of the actors gave great performances. It's not a film I would probably see again, but it is one I am glad I saw."
  • March 11, 2012
    Hey there, Glenn Close, I see what you're doing there. I'm just not sure it always works, is all. This is an often touching, often quite sad story about the way the those who do not conform to the demands of their societies function - or not - within the structures of said societ... read moreies. Close's Albert is something of a cipher - perhaps understandably, considering that "he" has spent his whole life living as a negation of "his" former self - but I wonder if that mystery prevents us from feeling more of a connection with him. When we do feel that connection, it is painful. As for Janet McTeer's Hubert, there is no mystery there - the character is raw and real and vulnerable, and while providing an interesting foil and role model for Albert, seems sometimes to almost throw the title character into shadow as a result. There's an attraction in Albert's enigma, but perhaps not enough to lift the film up a bit higher, and it occasionally loses its way under the weight of the less interesting Helen/Joe storyline. A flawed film, yes, but often a compelling one.
  • March 3, 2012
    Glenn Close and Janet McTeer deserved the Oscar nominations they received for their work in 'Albert Nobbs.' They are amazing. They play women living as men. Glenn Close especially blew me away with her ability to transform herself physically. But more than that, she was able to c... read moreapture the deep heart and soul of the character.

    Her character's name is Albert Nobbs. It's late 19th-century Dublin, and he lives and works as a waiter in a small, friendly hotel. McTeer plays a "man" who briefly works at the hotel repainting rooms. When they strike up a friendship, each is shocked to learn that the other is a woman. They grow to love and encourage each other in a beautiful way.

    A young maid (played by Mia Wasikowska) captures Albert's heart, which is something that appears never to have happened for him. He struggles to figure out how to date and whether to tell the maid about his gender condition.

    But the maid is really interested in a handsome, self-absorbed young man (played well by Aaron Johnson from 'Kick-Ass') who also lives and works at the hotel. When the maid ends up pregnant, life at the hotel comes apart, ending in a life-changing spell of violence.

    'Albert Nobbs' is a wonderful little film. Once or twice it gets a bit schmaltzy. Director Rodrigo Garcia (best known for his work on the HBO show 'In Treatment') is at heart a television writer/director. That's his medium. All his films (including 2009's 'Mother and Child') have a TV feel. But 'Albert Nobbs' shows that Garcia is getting more comfortable with film. This is by far his best film yet.

    Incidentally, Garcia is the son of legendary novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • February 25, 2012
    Glenn Close delivers a very solid performance, but this weak drama does not seem to know exactly what it wants to say. The irregular story wanders without a clear direction, giving in to a lot of expository dialogue and ending in an anticlimactic conclusion.
  • February 9, 2012
    "nobbs" is an unfortunate last name for a man trying to hide the fact that he really is a woman. the film was somewhat interesting, and i always love gleeson on film, but i never really believed that anything redeeming would come of the story. the acting was solid but not great... read more, and the end was terrible. overall, nothing to recommend.
  • fb100000145236770
    December 29, 2011
    "Albert Nobbs" is a quiet movie about living life as a lie. Glenn Close gives an award worthy performance as Albert Nobbs. Nobbs is a woman who lives life as a man to support herself in 19th Century Ireland. She wants to live life freely, but she has to keep up the charade of ... read morebeing a man, or she will lose her job and livelihood. The movie reminded me of "Brokeback Mountain"(another movie about living life as a lie), in that it's sad that Nobbs had to live that life. However, unlike "Mountain", this is slow and not nearly as engaging. Other than Close's performance, the movie falls flat. Even Janet McTeer's portrayal of Hubert(another woman being a man) doesn't give the movie enough of a balance to be entertaining. I'm usually not big on period piece movies, so I didn't really have high expectations before watching. Worth a watch to see the fantastic work of Glenn Close, but other than that this is pretty forgettable.

Critic Reviews

Tom Huddleston
April 24, 2012
Tom Huddleston, Time Out

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

Kate Taylor
February 3, 2012
Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail

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

Linda Barnard
February 2, 2012
Linda Barnard, Toronto Star

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

Dana Stevens
January 30, 2012
Dana Stevens, Slate

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

Anthony Lane
January 30, 2012
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

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

Connie Ogle
January 27, 2012
Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

[A] strange, sad, mesmerizing little movie. Full Review

Tom Long
January 27, 2012
Tom Long, Detroit News

"Albert Nobbs" is a film of great texture and tenderness, and the actors are a joy to behold. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
January 27, 2012
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

[It] sneaks up on the audience with the quiet discretion of the enigmatic protagonist at its center. And, like him, it contains multitudes beneath its prim surface. Full Review

Rafer Guzman
January 27, 2012
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

[A] funny, sorrowful, richly layered and tremendously moving film. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
January 26, 2012
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Characters as out of touch and desperate as Albert Nobbs awaken an instinctive doubt and distrust in an audience. Full Review

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    • Albert Nobbs: Life without decency is unbearable.
    • 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.
    • Helen: You are the strangest man I have ever met.
    • Dr. Holloran: We are both disguised as ourselves.

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