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: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 26, 2012
    60
    Close's performance is a study in repression -- too much so, really.
  2. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jan 25, 2012
    50
    Albert Nobbs is the furthest thing from a comedy, although as a character study of cultural mores and stations and the lengths human beings will go to to circumvent them, it's fascinating stuff.
  3. 60
    Repression is one thing, but discontent generally breeds self-knowledge and rich interior lives, two things that are eerily absent here. Regardless, the film features some really intriguing conflicts and solid performances throughout.
  4. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 26, 2012
    50
    Though Istvan Szabo (Being Julia) was slated to direct at one point, the assignment ultimately went to Rodrigo Garcia, who's known for his female ensemble dramas (Nine Lives, Mother and Child) but demonstrates no particular affinity for this material.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 22, 2011
    40
    When the filmmakers move into Nobbs' isolation, though, the movie flags - a surprise given Garcia's excellent work on HBO's minimalist personality study "In Treatment," on which he wrote and directed extensively.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 21, 2011
    40
    Close and McTeer, an evenly matched odd-couple pairing, keep it real. They do the heavy lifting, and are utterly enchanting, whether in bonnets or boots.
  7. 50
    The performance is extraordinary, literally: Close resembles no man I've ever seen, or woman either. She's the personification of fear - the fear of being seen through, seen for what she is.
  8. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 24, 2012
    50
    A middling attempt to peek through a lace curtain for a glimpse of the other Upstairs/Downstairs staff members only leads to too many distracting social functions that fail to relieve the film's otherwise solemn pacing.
  9. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jan 26, 2012
    50
    Though the movie drips and aches with good intentions, I do wonder how lesbians may feel about seeing lesbianism presented as a mere traumatized distortion of female heterosexuality.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jan 27, 2012
    50
    Albert Nobbs is the rare double drag king bill you could plausibly take your grandmother to. It's genteel, well-crafted, mostly sexless and frequently dull - a movie that, like its title character, never quite dares to let itself discover what it really wants to be.
  11. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jan 25, 2012
    50
    Close's performance is technically perfect and emotionally pinched, which is exactly what her role calls for, but it doesn't make a compelling movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Dec 20, 2011
    50
    Say this for Albert Nobbs: It's not some run-of-the-mill "life lived in service" drama.
  13. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jan 27, 2012
    60
    Rodrigo Garcia's film only intermittently surmounts the limitations of the central character's parched emotional existence and restricted horizons, and the resolutions to some principal dramatic lines seem rather too easy.
  14. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jan 30, 2012
    40
    Imagine a different film on a similar theme, with Hubert moved to center stage and García replaced by Pedro Almodóvar, for whom cross-dressers in a Catholic country would be meat and drink. Poor Albert could then retreat into the shadows, where he so evidently belongs, emerging only to pour the wine and clear away the feast.
  15. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Dec 20, 2011
    40
    The unintentional hilarity of the whole enterprise - especially when Albert attempts to romance one of the hotel's naive employees (Wasikowska) - at least keeps you engaged, as does the scene-by-scene suspense over which pitiably wide-eyed expression Close will choose to use next. Hopefully, she's practicing her gracious-loser face for awards season.
  16. Reviewed by: Matt Mueller
    Apr 16, 2012
    40
    Good performances, but it's difficult to give two hoots about Close's passion project when the story remains as pinched and hermetic as poor little Albert Nobbs himself.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 22, 2011
    50
    It's a career-crowning role for Glenn Close. Too bad the film is such a drag.
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 »