Albert Nobbs

Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 42
  2. Negative: 3 out of 42

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jan 26, 2012
    88
    Most movies about people passing themselves off as the opposite sex can't sustain the illusion, but "Nobbs" does.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jan 4, 2012
    80
    García, previously the director of "Mother and Child," "Passengers" and numerous TV episodes (and the son of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez), never feels entirely comfortable with the period or location, but for all its limitations Albert Nobbs has a puzzling undertow, and gets more involving the longer you stick with it.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Dec 30, 2011
    80
    I'm pretty sure that the terrific British actress Janet McTeer never meant to act Close out of every frame they share, but she surely does as Hubert, a cheerful bruiser who brings his own secrets to the party, as well as a monumentally fake broken nose, a kind heart and a practical gift for converting adversity to advantage.
  4. 75
    The film surrounding the performance is not always as strong, but the centre holds, and magnificently so.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 27, 2012
    75
    The sadness and almost Chaplinesque pathos that ensues is well wrought and Close, although she is so recessive that at times she seems to fade into the ether, is quite touching.
  6. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jan 27, 2012
    75
    Like the man himself, Albert Nobbs is a sweet, sad, sensitive little film, a haunting reminder that each of us, on some level, is impersonating someone.
  7. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    The chief attraction of Albert Nobbs is the acting.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    As the title character in Albert Nobbs, Glenn Close skulks through Edwardian-era Dublin like a eunuch on a stealth mission.
  9. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    Albert Nobbs is a quiet, minor-key work. The period finery is Masterpiece Classics-y, the parade of upper-crust and lower-tier eccentrics predictable. But Close's performance as this poor, wounded fellow resonates with depth and poignancy.
  10. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    Jan 26, 2012
    75
    Albert Nobbs is not a movie about gender politics; it's about trusting in the fundamental goodness of others and accepting one's need for companionship, and the way in which Close slowly reveals Albert's closed-off heart is poignant and often surprisingly funny, though never in a mocking way.
  11. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jan 25, 2012
    75
    Close never steps wrong, never breaks reality. My heart went out to Albert Nobbs, the depth of whose fears are unimaginable. But it is Janet McTeer who brings the film such happiness and life as it has, because the tragedy of Albert Nobbs is that there can be no happiness in her life. The conditions she has chosen make it impossible.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 29, 2011
    75
    As directed with grit and grace by Rodrigo García, this quietly devastating film goes bone-deep.
  13. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Dec 20, 2011
    75
    It's no less of an accomplished performance than Hilary Swank's similar turn in "Boys Don't Cry" or newcomer Zoé Herán's delicate achievement as the lead in "Tomboy." Unfortunately, Albert Nobbs traps Close's sizable talent in a simplistic drama--not unlike Nobbs herself who winds up trapped in a restrictive period.
  14. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jan 26, 2012
    70
    With its unpredictable sexual politics and quirky little hero/heroine Albert Nobbs has the edge of quinine, a peculiar taste that won't entice everyone but worked for me.
  15. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 20, 2011
    70
    Ms. McTeer's sly, exuberant performance is a pure delight, and the counterpoint between her physical expressiveness and Ms. Close's tightly coiled reserve is a marvel to behold. The rest of the film is a bit too decorous and tidy to count as a major revelation, but it dispenses satisfying doses of humor, pathos and surprise.
  16. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jan 4, 2012
    67
    Close's passion for the character she plays - 
a role, she has explained in interviews, that has absorbed her since she first played Nobbs on stage 30 years ago - contains its own intrigue.
  17. Reviewed by: Michelle Orange
    Dec 21, 2011
    65
    As Mr. Albert Nobbs, Close wears a discreetly waved cap of cropped ginger hair and the bright, blank expression of a small animal caught mid-nibble.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jan 26, 2012
    63
    The double deception of suppressed personality and repressed sexuality could have been the basis for a rewarding character study, but after Albert meets a kindred spirit and dares to dream of a happy ending, her denial and naivete become too much to swallow.
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jan 26, 2012
    63
    The play itself, some felt, was static. The charge I'm afraid will stick to the film version as well. But the acting is considerable compensation.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 29, 2011
    63
    If you take away Albert Nobbs' twist, all that's left is a project that would have been at home on Masterpiece Theater during its heyday.
  21. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Dec 21, 2011
    63
    The film never gets to the heart of Nobbs - a woman who lives as a man. She comes across as more of a sad, clownish figure than a flesh-and-blood human, playing her emotions so close to the vest that it's hard to care about this stoic character.
  22. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Dec 19, 2011
    63
    Unfortunately, Albert is so good at being unobtrusive, he nearly disappears from his own story, making it hard for us to get invested in it.
User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Jan 28, 2012
    9
    Albert Nobbs is the most heartbreaking and touching film I have seen in years. I disagree with much of what some critics are saying - I wasAlbert Nobbs is the most heartbreaking and touching film I have seen in years. I disagree with much of what some critics are saying - I was never ever bored, found the drama tense and compelling, subtly building a sense of dread about what might be about to happen. The scene on the beach - Albert's one moment of true freedom, brought tears. Glenn Close is the master of this drama, not Janet McTeer, as some are saying. To me she simply added some comic relief, and was, at most, a cartoon. See it, you will love it. Full Review »
  2. Nov 26, 2015
    6
    Albert Nobbs: "Life without decency is unbearable".

    The story is about a woman who struggles to find independence in 19th century Ireland
    Albert Nobbs: "Life without decency is unbearable".

    The story is about a woman who struggles to find independence in 19th century Ireland and poses as a man so she can work as a butler at a top hotel. When she meets a painter it gives "Albert" the chance she needs to escape the lie she has been living.

    Albert Nobbs has been described as an Oscar bait movie that's only purpose of existing is to win prizes, and while I do agree it is a bit Oscar bait and the movie itself is quite forgettable, but I'll be lying if I say there wasn't anything good in it. Compare this to other Oscar bait movies we've had in the past, this one isn't that bad or pretentious.

    Glenn Close was unrecognizable in this movie. I really bought into her playing a man and it's not just by the make-up that sold the effect off, but the tone of her voice, the movement and the overall performance created the effect perfectly. I'm so shocked that Glenn Close has never won an Oscar yet, as she's been non-stop impressing me in every she's done (including this one). Glenn Close was absolutely outstanding in this movie.

    The make-up, the costumes and the rest of the cast were all great. Theses not a single bad performance in this movie. The staging and the scenery was spot on.

    Sadly I wish the whole movie was great, but keep in mind that I don't think Albert Nobbs is a bad movie but the movie falls into the cliche gender or sexuality problems that every Oscar bait movie dose. Now I have seen many movies that dose focus on the gender and sexuality issues and the movies themselves were great, because those movies never tried the 'Give me awards' kind of movie, they were good movies and I could easily watch them again as a film, but movies like Albert Nobbs are the type of films that I'll only watch once and never again.

    Overall Albert Nobbs has fantastic performances from everyone, great make-up and scenery. Unfortunately the film itself isn't what I call "great", just forgettable and it sucks saying that since I know a lot of effort went into this movie.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 1, 2014
    4
    A promising story through and through. Albert Nobbs recklessly uses its source material and fails to gain any confidence throughout. GlennA promising story through and through. Albert Nobbs recklessly uses its source material and fails to gain any confidence throughout. Glenn Close is average-at-best in her debut transvestite performance. Full Review »