Glenn Close’s Oscar nominated role is the highlight of the Downton Abbeyesque "Albert Nobbs" - a sort of cross-dressing "Upstairs/Downstairs." Close plays Albert Nobbs, a small, quiet, and kindly man who works as a servant in a Ireland hotel. But Nobbs isn’t a really a man - he is a woman dressed as a man in order to make better money.
Keeping her stash of funds under the floorboards of her small room, Nobbs dreams of owning a Tobacco shop and also of taking a "wife." Close meets another woman also disguising herself as a man played by other Oscar Nominee Janet McTeer. The two strike up a friendship and soon enough, Albert is longing for the chambermaid Helen played by Mia Wasikowska. It’s a bit mind-boggling as it’s not just about cross-dressing, it’s also about being a lesbian in a time that would not be accepting, and also how women and "the help" were viewed in society.
Skillfully directed by Rodrigo Garcia, "Albert Nobbs" is an interesting film, but ultimately it lies a bit flat and is kind of a downer. Close and McTeer are excellent so it’s worth your time for them, but ultimately it’s not memorable for anything but that. Incidentally, "Kick-Ass" star Aaron Johnson plays a cocky guy after Helen’s affections and proves to be a hunky star on the rise.
Special features include moderately informative commentary by Garcia and Close, three deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer.