Albert Nobbs. Close’s Albert is a tightly-wound manservant with a secret: he is really a woman who has hidden her gender for thirty years in order to work and live as a man. Spoiler Alert: McTeer plays a fellow who discovers Albert’s deception and reveals that he is a woman as well, but one who has a life with a wife that opens Albert’s eyes to what life could be for him. Close is amazing, playing a passive closed-off person, but showing Albert’s inner life very subtly. McTeer’s forceful and energetic performance was even better, and the two actresses formed one of the most touching relationship of the year.
A powerhouse collection of actresses led by Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Sissy Spacek and Cicely Tyson brought the best-selling novel The Help (about Mississippi maids gaining their voice in the civil rights era) to entertaining life on screen. Davis, Spencer and Chastain are generating some much-deserved Oscar talk.
As Glee's Coach Beiste, Dot-Marie Jones has become an unconventional hero and challenged stereotypes and cliches. She showed audiences how not to judge a butch by her cover, since Coach is just a big-hearted gal looking for her Mr. Right.
Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.