Glenn Close does drag in the ‘Albert Nobbs’ trailer: Oscar worthy or too contrived?


There’s a new trailer for Albert Nobbs, in which Glenn Close plays the titular character, who grew up as the illegitimate daughter of a maid in 19th century Ireland. As an adult, she disguises herself in male attire to get work as a hotel butler. For her performance, Glenn is already getting some (and possibly overdue) Oscar buzz; of course, she’ll likely face stiff competition from the likes of Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene). The movie also stars Aaron Johnson and Mia Wasikowska, who replaced Orlando Bloom and Amanda Seyfried. It girl out, it girl in? Well, Mia’s a much better actress than Amanda, so the movie was undoubtedly served well by the cast shuffling.


As mentioned above, Glenn is receiving much praise for her take on the role. As for the movie itself? Not so much:

[I]t doesn’t hurt that Close (a five time nominee in the ’80s) spent nearly 30 years trying to line up a chance to repeat her gender-bending off-Broadway role in a film for which she is credited as co-writer and co-producer. She may be (sadly) a bit too old for the role and there will be considerable debate about whether she actually passes as a man — she looks alarmingly like Conan O’Brien from some angles.

But she sure gives a powerhouse performance as an emotionally repressed woman who is forced to work as a hotel butler to survive in 19th century Ireland — and is undone when she falls in love with another woman.

I was even more impressed, though, by Janet McTeer as another faux man whose path Albert passes — a much more flamboyant and swaggering character who doesn’t suffer from Albert’s inner torment and is comfortable enough in her role to have married another woman.

“Albert Nobbs” has a rather claustrophic feel that, to a point, suits the story. The director, Rodrigo Garcia, is far better with actors (he’s done his best work for TV shows like “Six Feet Under” and “In Treatment”) than as a big-screen visual stylist.

Though sure to be embraced by the GLBT community and some feminists, it’s hardly a crowd pleaser.

[From NY Post]

Since this movie was literally decades in the making for Glenn Close, it truly sounds like a labor of love for her. Does she pull off playing a man in the trailer? Well, there’s truly something “off” from the moment one spots Drag Glenn in motion, but that’s sort of the point. While this movie won’t be a blockbuster by any stretch, it will certainly receive a lot of love from critics and on the indie circult, and I definitely plan on watching it too.



Photos courtesy of AllMoviePhoto and WENN

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35 Responses to “Glenn Close does drag in the ‘Albert Nobbs’ trailer: Oscar worthy or too contrived?”

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  1. Jessica says:

    WOW!!!! What a transformation!!!

  2. gee says:

    She looks like abe lincoln. And I think she is quite pretty in reality.

  3. Rose says:

    Oh god the accents.

  4. Chloe says:

    Awesome~! Now this is what movies are supposed to be about: Great Acting! She certainly deserves an Oscar for this one.

  5. fabgrrl says:

    Awesome, is what it is.

  6. RocketMerry says:

    Me loves Glenn Close!

  7. Jules says:

    She looks like Robin Williams.

  8. Annie says:

    Pretty cool! It takes several glances to realize that’s a woman not an odd looking man. Like a double take sort of thing. Plot sounds interesting, will be seeing for sure.

  9. MJ says:

    Everyone knows that if you dress in drag (Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank) or play someone less attractive than yourself (Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman), you get the Oscar. Based on that, I’d say she’s a shoe-in.

    Unless there is someone playing an intellectually challenged person or a cultural figure in a biopic, of course. Then there might be some competition.

  10. Jackie says:

    she looks like red buttons.

  11. original kate says:

    unlike most actresses, glenn does not need a gimmick to give a great performance. even if the movie is crap she will be great in it – she always is.

  12. Runs with Scissors says:

    @MJ wow, way to denigrate a lot of really good work done by the actors you mentioned (all of them women, I notice.) The academy doesn’t always get it right, but that doesn’t mean those women didn’t do very good work.

  13. Runs with Scissors says:

    It’s not just her prodigious talent, it’s her utter lack of vanity.

    Compare her to all the plastic-filled idiots in Hollywood clawing and scrabbling amongst themselves to be labelled ‘beautiful,’ whatever that means any more –

    She has no fear. She’s free. It shows in her work and it’s inspiring to see.

  14. Kaye says:

    @ Jackie: She does look like Red Buttons!

  15. Jen34 says:

    She’s always looked like a man.

  16. Anguishedcorn says:

    Ditto this:

    “She has no fear. She’s free. It shows in her work and it’s inspiring to see.”

    It looks amazing.

  17. ladybert62 says:

    Well Glenn Close has one of those faces that can change so much depending on the role, that the Glenn Close underneath the face is never even seen. Hope her acting in this movie matches the face transformation.

    There is a much more interesting story that I wished she would have done rather than this one. It involves a woman in Australia (in early 20th century I think) – a woman who dressed as a man for decades – she even married a woman and it is claimed (I am not sure I believe it but it has been claimed) that the real woman – the wife – did not know the husband was not a man (the wife never saw the husband naked and they never had sex – hey, their claim not mine). Anyway, the woman disgused as a man eventually kills the wife (real woman) during an argument and tries to also kill the kid the wife (real woman) had previous to their marriage – the husband-woman fails to kill the kid. It is during the trial, that it is revealed that the husband is a woman! Quite shocking for that period of time. Hubby-woman went to jail and was required by law after she got out to never ever ever pretend to be a man again.

    There is another story in Oregon or Washington about a woman who lived as a man. The woman (Billy Tipton) became a famous jazz musician and her secret was never revealed until the will was read and the three sons (she/he adopted them) and they were fighting about the money the female-man left.

    True life can be fascinating.

    But now I have a headache from trying to keep all this straight and need a migraine pill which I left at home – ha ha.

    By the way, I am really a woman and my husband is really a man (we have seen each other naked!!) ha ha ha

  18. ladybert62 says:

    P.S. The Australian woman’s name was Eugenia Falleni in case you want to read about it.

  19. Danny says:

    I thought it was Robin Williams at first but the Red Buttons comparison is pretty good too.

  20. MJ says:

    @Runs With Scissors: I didn’t mean to undermine the talent of any of the actresses mentioned, but I truly have no respect for the Academy and I don’t think they have any integrity when it comes to their selections. Not sure what you’re implying with your comment regarding my examples all being female, but Glenn Close is a woman and the category in which she may or may not be nominated would be the same as the women referenced above. Get off your high horse.

  21. MJ says:

    PS – At least we agree on the fact that Glenn Close rules for all of the reasons you mentioned. She is also a striking and elegant woman.

  22. Ron says:

    Glenn Close is one of the few actors around that completely and totally deserves as Oscar. From Fatal Attraction, to Dangerous Liasons, Reversal of Fortune, Sarah Plain and Tall, to 101 Dalmations–all amazing. She is brilliant. I hope she finally wins with this role.

  23. jay says:

    as a side note to the actor shuffle, I’m not entirely convinced Mia is THAT great of an actress (and certainly not much better then Amanda). She is always going to have the sour distates of that Alice movie for me. However, I do fully agree with replacing Orlando with Aaron.

  24. Annie_Grey says:

    I wish they didn’t put that fake makeup on her face. A person back then wouldn’t have access to all that, anyway. Why do they want to make her look like she’s wearing a mask?

  25. Jane says:

    She definately deserved to be nominated at least! Somebody mentioned before that she has a good chance unless somebody else is playing a cultural figure in a biopic. Meryl Streep is playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady and is already expected to get a nod (not surprising as there is basically always a spot for Streep). I think she is more likely to win but I hope Close is nominated.

  26. Poppy says:

    There was also a story about an early Victorian woman posing as a man so she could go to medical school and become a doctor, women were not allowed to become doctors at the time so she took the only route available to her.

  27. jc126 says:

    Google Deborah Sampson sometime, another woman-as-man story.

    I can’t see the trailer, but Glenn Close pretty much kills it in any role I’ve ever seen her in. Villain, heroine, whatever, she can do it.

  28. Melissa says:

    I’m offended that the (embedded/quoted) reviewer states that Close may have trouble passing as a man and that she looks like Conan O’Brien, as if O’Brien is not a man. I mean, it’s not like I think O’Brien is Mr. Masculine or anything, but really?

  29. hubbahubba says:

    Glenn Close is AMAZING! hope she gets an oscar for this role!

  30. Memphis says:

    I thought she looked like Stan Laurel in the first picture. 🙂

  31. DarkEmpress says:

    Lucky that she had a man chin and British mencan look quite effeminate.

  32. You don't say says:

    @memphis–Thanks. I was just going to say the thin member of Laurel and Hardy.

    I also agree that the Academy loves when people change their looks–lose or gain weight–look ugly when in reality you are beautiful or handsome or dress in drag. Not necesarily taking anything away, it just happens to be how they operate, which is sometimes a shame. Also, campaigns for Oscars, which I abhor, also play into it. All in all, the Award is not always for the best performance, but for who kisses the most ass.

  33. poodlemom says:

    Glen Close could be Prince Harry’s father!

  34. nate says:

    Conan O’Brien

  35. Amy says:

    Heck I thought Conan Obrien…but what do I know? I am still gonna see it. Me likey Ms. Close!