I don't know why [Close is] keen to play such a recessive wisp of a man, but I admire how committed she is to her bowler hat.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Ms. McTeer's sly, exuberant performance is a pure delight, and the counterpoint between her physical expressiveness and Ms. Close's tightly coiled reserve is a marvel to behold.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Though this period drama is meant to be thought-provoking and prompt intriguing queries about gender, it leaves too many questions unanswered.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
[It] sneaks up on the audience with the quiet discretion of the enigmatic protagonist at its center. And, like him, it contains multitudes beneath its prim surface.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
There's an ache of regret that sets "Albert Nobbs'' apart. Everyone here yearns for what they can't get.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The result of [Close's] passion project? Getting to look like Bruce Jenner in a bowler and high starched collar.
Melissa Anderson - Village Voice
The rest of the movie, sadly, can't live up to its leads.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
As an experiment in Academy Award psychology, "Albert Nobbs" is fascinating. As drama? It is, forgive us, a drag.
John Anderson - Wall Street Journal
Men in drag are usually played for laughs. Women passing as men? Expect a tragic twist.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
What you feel, watching Close, is not that you are watching gender being bent into new, absorbing shapes but that you might as well have stayed home and leafed through a book on Magritte.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
This is such a brave performance by Glenn Close, who in making Albert so real, makes the character as pathetic and unlikable as she must have been in life.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Rodrigo Garcia [is] known for his female ensemble dramas but demonstrates no particular affinity for this material.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Close's performance as this poor, wounded fellow resonates with depth and poignancy.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
This is a costume drama where the costume is the drama.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Albert Nobbs" is a film of great texture and tenderness, and the actors are a joy to behold.
Tom Long - Detroit News
[Close gives] an intriguing performance, technically flawless, if by necessity distant.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
The point is to show the misery of a underprivileged woman ahead of her time, but so much dedication for such a small payoff makes you wonder why.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
It's a career-crowning role for Glenn Close. Too bad the film is such a drag.
Peter Debruge - Variety
Unfortunately, Albert is so good at being unobtrusive, he nearly disappears from his own story, making it hard for us to get invested in it.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
Albert is at the heart of it all and we see her through her own prism of vulnerability, resulting in a very human story about the search for love, acceptance and understanding of the self.
Linda Barnard - Toronto Star
The film surrounding the performance is not always as strong, but the centre holds, and magnificently so.
Kate Taylor - Globe and Mail
A movie that, like its title character, never quite dares to let itself discover what it really wants to be.
Dana Stevens - Slate
All of the red meat is just beneath the surface, occasionally poking through but mostly remaining buried.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Notable performances by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer mark this carefully made but muted story of women passing as men in 19th-century Dublin.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
"Albert Nobbs" is clearly Close's show - for better and for worse.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
With its unpredictable sexual politics and quirky little hero/heroine Albert Nobbs has the edge of quinine, a peculiar taste that won't entice everyone but worked for me.
Mary F. Pols - TIME Magazine
As directed with grit and grace by Rodrigo Garcia, this quietly devastating film goes bone-deep.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Nobbs is such a spectral presence that infusing any measure of life into this person is an insurmountable challenge.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
As the pinched, ever-wary, heartbreaking Nobbs, Close gives a tricky, high wire, award-worthy performance yet she commendably resists any temptation to be showy, campy or spectacular in the least.
Stephen Rebello - Playboy Online
An unadventurous film that has only the smallest of fires in its belly.
Glenn Dunks - Trespass
There's no contrived moralizing bridge to modern relevance, no overt nod to contemporary gender politics and no real reason why Close shouldn't get some respect this awards season.
Matt Kelemen - Las Vegas CityLife
Close, in one of her greatest performances, is quiet, still, almost invisible to those around her. It's not a stunt or an impersonation, it's a perfect realization of what someone in her position might endure just to eat.
Close's performance is no less sensational than Heath Ledger's as the close mouthed Ennis in Brokeback Mountain.
Richard Knight - Knight at the Movies
One's admiration for Close's work becomes more for her versatility and fearlessness than a connection with the character she portrays.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Glenn Close does her best Clay Aiken impression as she pretends to be a male butler in 19th century Ireland.
Danny Minton - Fort Bend Sun
- Urban Cinefile
File under interesting failure, although with three Oscar nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Costume), there must surely be people out there somewhere convinced by this relentlessly tasteful affair.
Glenn Close's character couldn't be more buttoned-up, but beneath the reserve she conveys a lifetime of loneliness, hurt and quiet heartache.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
...Academy-Award nominated performances might be reason enough to see Albert Nobbs
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
McTeer's performance is one of the most convincing of its kind I've ever seen.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Thee finished work appears fatally stranded between feminist polemic and accidental magic realism.
Donald Clarke - Irish Times
Here's a film that looks good, has production values to die for and an all-star cast who mostly make their mark.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It's a virtuoso portrayal and any hints of femininity vanish completely in Close's intense, studied portrayal.
- Liverpool Echo
Looking like a cross between Dublin-born Wilfrid Brambell's Steptoe, Robin Williams and Jamie Bell, it's an extraordinary performance, requiring little dialogue for us to see the pain deep in his/her soul.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
It's a film whose unrelaxed body language screams: "Give me prizes!"
For all its gender-bending intrigue, this is a cataclysmically sexless film: seldom has drag felt like such a drag.
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
The movie is sometimes charged with real tension and passion. And yet Close as Nobbs is an absence.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
It is a million miles away from the frizzy haired bunny-boiling vixen of Fatal Attraction but every bit as disturbing.
Brian Henry Martin - UTV
At once stilted and melodramatic, this is a desperately ill-conceived adaptation of a fascinating story.
Emma Dibdin - Little White Lies
It's Mrs Doubtfire without knobs on.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Resolutely downbeat, this tale of Victorian gender-bendering scores thanks to skilful performances, particularly from Close and McTeer, and a exhaustive attention to period detail.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
It's finely acted (both Close and McTeer were Oscar nominated) and McTeer brings some welcome heart and humour.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Watchable drama enlivened by strong performances from both Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, though the story loses its way in the second half and fails to deliver the required emotional punch.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
The grim, grey-hued result is about as far from contemporary drag chic as it's possible to get - appropriate for the subject matter, perhaps, but hardly the stuff of satisfying cinema.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
This is a sad, sweet little film; well acted, and capable of striking a universal chord. After all, who doesn't use some level of impersonation in order to get by?
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
Not only sad, sad, sad but dreary and unpleasant, peopled with largely unsympathetic characters but for McTeer, who is great.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
While it's just the sort of film Hollywood likes to embrace, one can only imagine the horrific hash a studio would've made of telling this sensitively told tale.
James Mottram - The List
Good performances, but it's difficult to give two hoots about Close's passion project when the story remains as pinched and hermetic as poor little Albert Nobbs himself.
Matt Mueller - Total Film
Even with a captivating, Oscar-nominated performance by the star, the servant remains inscrutable beneath that starched collar.
Stella Papamichael - Radio Times
Leonard Maltin - ReelzChannel.com
Awful, but memorable.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Neil Rosen - NY1-TV
Close's craft raises the saddest of stories to the level of art.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Albert Nobbs is more a parable than a person, and Albert Nobbs plays out more closely to a fable than an authentic tale.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
That the film manages to be touching without being maudlin, and to be smart without being mean-spirited, is perhaps what really seals the deal.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
This strange film about a woman pretending to be a man in 19th Century Ireland has some surprising twists and turns in it and some very good performances.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Bright, entertaining and touching, this re-uniting of collaborators sports lush sets and costumery and Oscar level acting by several of the cast.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
Close's performance is flawless, so much so that it's possible that she could have passed to an audience not expecting to see her in the role
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
While most of us can't identify with having to change our gender to get by, we can all feel the familiar tug of Albert's fundamental desire, which is nothing more than to fit in and be loved.
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Frank Wilkins - Frank's Reel Reviews
Close can't keep the character from seemingly like a pitiable doormat, but the tears come nonetheless.
Sam Adams - Philadelphia City Paper
... a thoughtful examination of the attempt to adjust to a society that sees only what it wants to see ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
The passion the star has for the material doesn't come across onscreen.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
Sadly, great performances do not a great film make.
Mathew DeKinder - Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Dustin Hoffman and Hilary Swank could pass for the opposite gender; Close can't.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
Even accepting that Close looks a bit like a fey, mummified Stan Laurel, viewers have to assume that everybody in Ireland suffers from poor eyesight to fall for THIS ruse.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Close earned that Oscar nomination, and seeing the movie will convince you of it as she gives the performance of a lifetime.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
There's a deep, deep well of sadness in Albert's eyes (and it's the ability to convey that life-long melancholy that has earned Glenn Close critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination).
Brian Tallerico - HollywoodChicago.com
Giving new meaning to the expression "upstairs/downstairs," 'Albert Nobbs' is a period piece about a cross-dressing, gay, single woman passing as a man and working as a butler in a posh Victorian-era Dublin hostelry.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Like Albert, the movie dreams of a world in which the impromptu epitaph delivered by the hotel doctor might be obsolete: 'Dear Jesus, I don't know what makes people live such miserable lives.'
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The film features some really intriguing conflicts and solid performances throughout.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
Albert Nobbs is a first-rate film in every respect. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the work of director Rodrigo Garcia, one of the most talented-and underrated-filmmakers working today.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
... maintains a sedate, almost starchy, facade, but you never lose sight of the violence and horror as lurking just below the proper surface of Victorian society
Sarah Boslaugh - Playback:stl
[A] strange, sad, mesmerizing little movie.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
[A] funny, sorrowful, richly layered and tremendously moving film.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
Nobbs is so closed-off, so understated, that we're never given a chance to empathize with or understand him ... The movie is as unrealized and unexpressed as its protagonist.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
I get choked up just writing about this movie. Yes, "Albert Nobbs" is a bit of a labor, but the central theme has such gnawing weight that for me it overcomes the movie's lumpiness.
Jonathan W. Hickman - Daily Film Fix
"Albert Nobbs" is never less than a tidy feat - but never more than a shuttered window.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By thrusting the story about women who pass themselves off as men in nineteenth-century England into close-up, this film version accentuates its implausibility to fatal effect.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Uh, he's clearly a woman.
Matt Pais - RedEye
Characters as out of touch and desperate as Albert Nobbs awaken an instinctive doubt and distrust in an audience.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
There is potential in this story to explore the way gender, sexual orientation and social class confined people in the Victorian era, but Close is so obviously female, it's distracting right from the start.
Loey Lockerby - Kansas City Star
It's a small, gentle film with wistful sadness peeking around its corners, and when it's over you may feel as if you want a little more, as if we're not much closer to understanding Albert than we were at the beginning.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Like Albert himself, the film isn't showy, but it's got quality and heart.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
A poignant tale of a person who just wants to be happy, to live in freedom, to be herself.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
As for Close, she looks nothing like a man. Nor much like a woman.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
A sorrowful, touching look at identity and deception with rich turns by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
The creamy, handsome look of "Albert Nobbs" matches Close's work, but the film falls short in most other aspects.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Albert Nobbs" is noble and well-intentioned as can be but in the end, it is all for naught and as much as it pains me to say it, it truly is a drag.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
The story is never as interesting as the choices made by the actresses or their characters.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Close is unconvincing as a man,but accept the premise and the character's strength,bravery and heartbreaking sadness come through. McTeer is amazing in Garcia's eloquent film.
Caryn James - James on screenS
The upstairs/downstairs drama is mediocre (although enlivened whenever Brendan Gleeson shows up as a randy doctor), and the unconvincing premise only drags it down further.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Garcia's production is as starchy as Albert's collars and as humorless as his masquerade... Close's performance is technically perfect and emotionally pinched, which is exactly what her role calls for, but it doesn't make a compelling movie.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
2011 was the year of the actress. Both Glenn Close and Janet McTeer give tour de force performances in Albert Nobbs.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
[A] trifling melodrama...
Keith Uhlich - Time Out
Close resembles no man I've ever seen, or woman either. She's the personification of fear-the fear of being seen through, seen for what she is.
Star Glenn Close's appearance comes across as too distracting, and the film's tedious pacing doesn't help matters either.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Although it strives for bigger things, Albert Nobbs proves itself to be a diluted and bland exploration into transgender survival in conservative Ireland, headlined by Glenn Close's vain gender bending performance.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
When Close simply has something to think about or react to, she's magnetic.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Common Sense Media
Nobbs is a moving, well-etched, humour-peppered film about survival and one small person's dream of liberation.
Jim Schembri - The Age (Australia)
It's an affecting tale about sexual identity and people pretending to be other than they are, not only in their everyday dealings but also in ways that go to the very core of their being.
Tom Ryan - Sydney Morning Herald
This ripping period drama is led with distinction by Glenn Close in an unorthodox part she has been developing for three decades.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Albert Nobbs ends up being little more than a play on screen.
Steve Newall - Flicks.co.nz
although [Close] brings truth to her performance, the quietness and unassuming blankness of the character may temper critical and audience response in much the same way as Peter Seller's alien remove did in "Being There."
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Close gives a mesmerizing performance as a 19th century woman determined to live her life covertly as a man, not out of any gender identity imperative, but to never again endure sexual violence from men. Girl bonding rules under the radar in hard times.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
[VIDEO] "Albert Nobbs" is a melancholy film of enormous power that could easily slip through the cracks without the aid of the Oscar nominations it deserves to attract. Don't miss "Albert Nobbs."
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Although one cannot question the quality of performances here, with Glenn Close Mia Wasikowska, and Janet McTeer leading the way, Albert Nobbs suffers for lack of breadth and vision.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
The film trades in subdued emotions and subtle currents of longing that are deeply felt.
Robert Levin - Film School Rejects
The delicate art of impersonating self
S. James Wegg - JWR
Glenn Close's singular accomplishment in willing Albert Nobbs to the screen is the stuff actors dream about.
Pete Hammond - Back Stage
McTeer's sly, wise rendering of Hubert, a person every bit as battered by life as Albert has been, but with enough residual core and joie de vivre to reinvent himself on his own terms, picks out the meaning of Albert Nobbs.
Ella Taylor - NPR
The stolid inertia of this story is so joyless that the film's sole "passionate" element is the desire to garner Oscar consideration for Close's performance.
Jason McKiernan - Filmcritic.com
Kevin Jagernauth - The Playlist
Close is magnetic, accepting an acting experiment with a thrilling fearlessness and devotion to complete immersion. If only the rest of the production matched her grace and concentration.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
[Glenn Close] does an exemplary job of giving a surface-level performance, which is the kind of praise that no matter how generously it is meant, just won't come out sounding like a compliment.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Albert Nobbs has the packaging and promise of something quite special, but there's too much narrative bubble wrap inside.
Doris Toumarkine - Film Journal International
This story of literal and figurative female sexual repression feels curiously unfinished, its many layers rather decorously undisturbed.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
If it's guilty of too much understatement, of being too muted, you can just chalk that up to the timid nature of its title character infusing every scene with the sadness of somebody voluntarily burying himself alive.
Dave White - Movies.com
The heart of the movie beats like a drum, and got me in step from the start.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
There is comedy in it. But mostly there's just a kind of soft, quiet sadness - about lives unlived, about chances lost, about loves forever unexpressed.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
An odd but endearing drama about a meticulous waiter in 1898 Dublin with a gigantic secret and expansive dreams for the future.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
As good as the performances are, I found the screenplay and Rodrigo Garcia's direction tonally inconsistent. The unusual premise seems to be played at some moments for laughs and at other times with heavy-handed solemnity.
Fr. Chris Carpenter - Movie Dearest
Close never provides an entry point into the soul of this complex (and otherwise nameless) person, making it harder and harder to view the character as sympathetic.
R. Kurt Osenlund - Slant Magazine
Close's performance is exquisite, carefully etched with bits of pain and ecstasy.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
Neither the movie nor the performance is memorable enough to cause much stir, and they will likely get lost amidst better end-of-the-year offerings.
All that passion behind the scenes doesn't really translate on screen.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Albert Nobbs isn't exactly offensive or discriminatory; it just dances around all the interesting sexual politics at its core and is content to be a totally by-the-numbers period piece. A singular movie, this ain't.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
For all its strengths, Albert Nobbs has its weaknesses; director Rodrigo Garcia often allows the film to seem stilted and the story doesn't fully satisfy
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The extraordinary and haunting presence of Glenn Close is what remains with us in this poignant drama
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
A modest film with memorable characters tackling big themes.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
Subtle and sensitive, creating a fascinating, if far-fetched facade.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
The film was adapted from a short story, and perhaps a short story it should have stayed.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
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.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
A tough watch.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Jennie Kermode - Eye for Film
There is such an interesting subject but the creation of this character, played by Glenn Close, it's almost like she is mentally challenged.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
It's an oddly compelling story, handsomely made, and showcasing another fine role for the impressive Mia Wasikowska.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
This gender-bending period film is not particularly rich in ideas, but its serves as a showcase for Glenn Close, who has not had a good leading screen role in years, and Janet McTeeer in the supporting category.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
...nothing more than a showcase for Close's admittedly stirring performance...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The movie is a good, not great period piece bolstered by Close's subtle, contained performance as the heartbreakingly lonely waiter.
Anne Thompson - Thompson on Hollywood
The problem with Albert Nobbs though is that it's hard to believe that the people around the heroine haven't figured her out yet. Even with prosthetics, Close isn't all that convincing as a man.
Noel Murray - AV Club
A gripping ensemble piece, good-humoured even at the end of its tether.