Albert Nobbs struggles to survive in late 19th-century Ireland, where women aren't encouraged to be independent. Posing as a man so she can work as a butler in Dublin's most elegant hotel, Albert meets a handsome painter and looks to escape the lie she has been living.
In 19th century Dublin, Albert Nobbs, an eccentric man in the latter part of middle age, works as a waiter in Morrison's Hotel run by the stingy and controlling Marge Baker. Albert is hard working and saves his money so that one day he will be able to eke out a better life for himself by owning his own business rather than work at the hotel. Beyond his work colleagues, he is all alone in the world. One day, a man named Hubert Page is hired by Mrs. Baker to paint one of the rooms in the hotel. She forces Hubert to share Albert's bed for the one night he is required to stay to complete the work, much to Albert's horror. Hubert discovers the reason Albert did not want to share a room with him. But rather than the issue being a problem, Hubert shows Albert that he can follow a slightly different life path than the one he envisioned for himself - one closer to the life that Hubert leads with his wife Cathleen - which includes getting married and having a wife to support him emotionally. ...Written by
The three movies that I've seen that Rodrigo García (son of Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez) directed deal with women's relationships: "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her", "Mother and Child" and now "Albert Nobbs". In the latter, Glenn Close plays a woman posing as a man in 19th century Dublin and working as a butler in a posh hotel. When the hotel owner hires a painter named Hubert Page (Janet McTeer), Albert soon finds out Hubert's secret. From there, relationships with other staff members proliferate.
The movie brings up several issues. Aside from Ireland's status as a British colony in the 19th century, there's the social hierarchy in the hotel, and the forbidden relationships. Albert's posing as a man is partially because of some haunting experiences, but also because women didn't have as many opportunities open to them back then. As a result of his hiding in this male persona, Albert has been hiding from himself, one might say.
All in all, I thought that this is a very well done movie. Close looks eerily gaunt in the role, easily passing as a man, while Mia Wasikowska, playing a maid, has the perfection balance of strength and fragility. I recommend the movie. Also starring Aaron Johnson (John Lennon in "Nowhere Boy"), Pauline Collins, Brendan Gleeson, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maria Doyle Kennedy.
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