Staff Picks: Movies

Staff-recommended viewing from the KPL catalog.

Albert Nobbs

Albert Nobbs is a movie set in the 19th century. Glenn Close plays Albert Nobbs a woman posing as a man in order to find work in 19th century Dublin, Ireland. What I loved about this movie is what a fine job the makeup crew did making Glenn Close into a man. Glenn Close play a mousey man to be sure and others in the movie thought him to be strange but you could not even guess that he was a woman. Albert kept to himself and personally I think he was a bit off in his dreams for the future. He was working as a waiter in a hotel and saving his money to buy a shop. He had visions of running a Tobacconist shop but he does not smoke, does not even know how to roll a cigarette.

The movie starts out showing us the hotel staff and their roles and shows us Albert. We do not know Albert is female until one night he is forced to share his room with the painter and a tic starts biting him. In an effort to get rid of the tic he removes his clothes and exposes his breasts. The Painter sees this and Albert is in a panic that he will be exposed. The Painter assures Albert he will not give him away and later in the movie after being pestered by Albert to keep his secret, the Painter (Spoiler Alert) opens his coat showing Albert that the he also is a woman and tells Albert his story. Albert is then fascinated with the fact that Hubert Page (the painter) is living her life as a man and has a wife. Albert fixates on this aspect and wonders how they sleep and did Hubert tell her before or after marriage that he was a woman. Albert wanting companionship decides that Helen, one of the maids, would be a good wife for him and asks her out for a walk. Helen uses Albert to get presents for her. Albert proposes marriage and Helen tells him he doesn't have a clue what it is to date a woman or even how to kiss one. After Typhoid sweeps through Dublin and kills off many including Hubert Page's wife Cathleen, Albert says to Hubert that he could take the place of Cathleen and Hubert and he could run the Tobacco shop together. Hubert tells Albert that that's not going to work that Cathleen was his universe. The movie is not a Disney happily ever after movie. Spoiler Alert. The movie does not end with Albert finding his own Cathleen, instead he winds up dying never getting his shop and all the money he as saved up does not go to the painter which would have made a bit of a happy ending or even to Helen to help with the baby. Instead the hotel owner finds it. Course this helps her keep the hotel open and everyone employed so not a dismal ending at least. The end scene shows the painter holding the baby and talking with Helen about the future. She tells him she is going to be tossed out and the baby taken away, he tells her we can't let that happen insinuating that they will become a unit and Hubert will take care of Helen. An ok ending for all except Albert who died. Course in my opinion he would have failed as a Tobacconist and would have just wasted all his money. I kept thinking the winner is the real estate agent with whom Albert gave deposit of a 100 pounds for the shop and would lose if he did not sign the contract by Monday. Albert saved for years to get enough money to buy a shop. Being dead and all the real estate agent gets to keep 100 pounds free and clear. This movie was about a lot of things, life in the 19th century, woman's rights etc. but I was thinking Hey, become a real estate agent and make some real money.


Albert Nobbs