Title: Albert Nobbs
Genre: Drama, Romance
Play time: 1h 53min
Director: Rodrigo García
Screenwriters: Gabriella Prekop, John Banville
Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Taylor-Johnson
An uphill battle from the first, since it is not remotely believable that either Glenn Close or Janet McTeer would pass for men for more than, oh, 45 seconds. If nothing else, Albert Nobbs imparts a new appreciation of what Kimberly Peirce and Hilary Swank accomplished twelve years ago in Boys Don’t Cry; here, we’re constantly squinting, wondering if everyone around Albert (Close) and Hubert (McTeer) are humoring them for some reason, since surely no one is fooled. Tough for a straight-ahead period drama like this to move past such a fundamental plausibility issue, and it barely even tries: the film is brutally uncinematic, the script devoid of any real drama and filled to the brim with dull-witted signposting. (Close helpfully talks to herself a lot, lest the screenwriters be left with some less expedient way of conveying that Albert is trying to save money to buy a tobacco shop.) The main plot, which involves Albert “courting” a young lady who thinks Albert is a rich male weirdo, is either willfully ludicrous or ascribes to the protagonist the intellect of a second-grader. Rodrigo Garcia, whose Mother and Child sent me fleeing from the theater after about an hour, is rapidly becoming a surefire warning sign; boring and painfully literal-minded, he’s the Akiva Goldsman of directors.
— Eugene Novikov