Albert Nobbs dir Rodrigo Garcia, Glenn Close, Janet McTeer, Brendan Gleeson, Pauline Collins
Slow-burn……In years to come, Albert Nobbs will be judged a little masterpiece. Now it is too close (no pun intended). Close’s beloved project, fifteen years in the making, has given us a great cinema moment: two women, dressed as women who’ve spent their lives living as men, walking free for the first time along the strand, yet with all the awkwardness of the unfamiliar as they trip and clod-heel in dresses…..Marvellous……Allbert Nobbs has worked his way as a waiter in a shabby-genteel Dublin hotel, Morrisons, in the late 19th century. He carries with him a picture of his mother, an account book, and hides under the floorboards his accumulating savings; yet he is really a she. When Mr Herbert Page, painter and decorator, comes to work at the hotel and is billeted with Nobbs, Page is revealed as a woman also. Yet a typhoid epidemic strikes the city and threatens to unravel both their lives….There are touching and poignant scenes between the two, and devoid of any sexual overtones these are all the more moving for the characters’ individual, yet shared experience….The film, taken from George Moore’s novella, shows an intriguing array of Dublin-rich characters both upstairs and downstairs – the wastrel doctor, Brendan Gleeson, and the lady concierge, Pauline Collins - a precursor to James Joyce. Yet it is the two central performances by Close and McTeer which are memorable…..…..