Glenn Close has played many a memorable female antagonistic character over the years - see: her roles in Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, 101 Dalmatians, the TV show Damages, etc. - but her turn as the cross-dressing Albert Nobbs in... Albert Nobbs will see the five (count 'em, five) time Oscar-nominee taking on a much kinder and mild-mannered screen persona.
An official trailer has been released for Albert Nobbs, which makes the film look like an overall solid period drama with elements of romance - just one that happens to feature a main character who passes herself off as a man.
Close actually won an Obie in 1982 for portraying Miss Nobbs in an off-Broadway stage production of Albert Nobbs, based on the short story by Irish novelist George Moore. The actress cowrote the cinematic adaptation with Man Booker Prize-winner John Banville and has been working to bring it to life for nearly three decades now. Needless to say, it's a passion project for her - and Close's performance in the film version looks to reflect just that.
Here is an official description of the setup for Albert Nobbs:
Albert (Close), a shy butler who keeps to himself, has been hiding a deep secret for years – “he” is a woman who has had to behave as a man all her life in order to escape a life of poverty and loneliness. When a handsome painter Hubert Page (Janet McTeer) arrives at the hotel, Albert is inspired to try and escape the false life she has created for herself.
[Sidenote: Albert is the illegitimate daughter of a maid, living in 19th century Ireland. Hence why she takes on an alternate identity - to avoid the social stigma.]
With that in mind, check out the Albert Nobbs trailer below:
While Close is clearly the main attraction of Albert Nobbs, the rest of the cast is composed of reliable performers as well, including: Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Aaron Johnson (Kick-Ass), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors), Brendan Gleeson (the Harry Potter series), and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Dexter), among others. All of these stars should also be quite recognizable to the period drama crowd, since they tend to show up in a wide variety of historical films or non-contemporary TV mini-series.
On that note: Albert Nobbs looks like the sort of emotion-churning "artsy" drama that probably either is or isn't your cup of tea. Members of the former category can take comfort that this look like a pleasant addition to that genre - one that features a moving lead turn by Close, decent production design, and competent direction by Rodrigo García (the HBO TV shows In Treatment, Six Feet Under, and Carnivàle).
Lastly - kudos if you can name the Steven Spielberg film that featured a cameo by a cross-dressing Close (hint: she ended up getting stuck in "The Boo Box"). ;-)
Albert Nobbs is scheduled for a wide theatrical release in the U.S. on January 27th, 2012, but don't be surprised if it is given a brief Oscar-qualifying run before the end of 2011.
Source: Yahoo! Movies