Saturday, March 24, 2012
The film Albert Nobbs has definite lesbian overtones; yet fits the bill for Masterpiece on PBS; and celebrates woman's ability to adapt and thrive under harsh circumstances. Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) was born a female through and through; but after being orphaned and raped at the age of 14, she realizes as a boy, she'll have the ability to make a decent wage being a waiter/butler in establishments that cater to the high society of early 19th Century Ireland.
Hubert Page (Janet McTeer) also born a woman, married an abusive husband; after leaving him, she takes on his profession as a house painter and begins to present herself as a man, even to the point of marrying a sweet, loving, little seamstress.
These two hero/heroine characters don't have many scenes together, but it is their shared bond, friendship and secret, that is the most compelling part of the film. They also share the most humorous scene, where Nobbs and Page are dressed in female attire, running down the beach.
Although we know these two actresses in real life as women, they, with help of costume designer Pierre-Yves Gayraud, manage to look awkward, mannish and conspicuous in dresses.
Having played the part of Albert Nobbs on Broadway very early on in her career; getting this story to the big screen became a 15 year labor of love for Glenn Close, who also wrote the screenplay.
It always amazes me when rich, successful, well-connected actors and actresses have trouble getting a project green lighted. You'd think the studios would trust their passion. I trust that most audiences will find something both engaging and troubling about the film Albert Nobbs, although those with homophobic tendencies may be uncomfortable with the ending.
Here's a good video interview (Youtube) with the two actresses/friends (Close & McTeer ) about the making of the film.
Director: Rodrigo García