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File: Albert Nobbs
Albert Nobbs is a drama film starring Glenn Close and directed by Rodrigo García.
The screenplay is based on a short story by Irish novelist George Moore.
The film received mixed reviews but the performances by Glenn Close and Janet McTeer were praised and they were both nominated for the Academy Award in the categories of Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. They also received Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is a woman living as a man in order to find work in the harsh environment of 19th-century Ireland. After living as a male for thirty years, Albert, working as a hotel waiter, is known for his extreme dedication to his job, as well as his introverted personality. Albert has been saving as much money as he can to buy a shop for himself with, hopefully, a wife by his side.
Albert's steadfast work is shaken by the sudden arrival of Hubert Page (Janet McTeer), a house painter hired by Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins), the hotel owner. Albert is shocked that Hubert is to room with him while he works at the hotel. On their first night, Hubert discovers Albert's secret, but promises never to reveal it, much to Albert's relief. The next day, Hubert confesses he is also a woman. Hubert leaves soon after, but not before telling Albert that she has a wife named Cathleen, a dressmaker.
Meanwhile, recently unemployed Joe Mackins (Aaron Johnson) arrives at the hotel to repair the boiler. Flirtatious maid, Helen Dawes (Mia Wasikowska), is attracted to him, and they soon become lovers; Joe's controlling nature and alcoholism soon become apparent, however.
Albert visits Hubert at his home and meets Cathleen (Bronagh Gallagher). Albert tells Hubert his story: Albert was born a bastard and raised in a convent before being kicked out after his mother's death. One night, when he was fourteen, he was brutally gang raped and beaten by a group of men. Soon afterwards he found a second-hand suit and, to find work and fulfillment, he transitioned to a male.
Believing Helen would be the ideal wife to run a shop with, Albert starts courting her. Helen refuses to go out with him, but Joe, believing that Albert will give her money that could help the pair emigrate to America, encourages her to accept. Helen agrees to be with Albert, who buys Helen expensive gifts to please her. Helen is uncomfortable with Albert and the arrangement that Joe forced her to make. Albert tells Helen he wants to buy a shop, though Helen only wants to leave Ireland for America.
A Typhoid epidemic has broken out in Dublin, and when some staff fall ill, customers avoid the hotel, causing financial problems. Albert becomes infected but soon recovers, while Helen discovers she is pregnant with Joe's child. Joe is terrified, fearing he will become like his abusive father. Albert goes to Hubert's home and learns that Cathleen died, devastating Hubert. As a tribute to her, Albert and Hubert don dresses Cathleen made and take a stroll outside. Though both are extremely uncomfortable, for a brief moment, Albert feels free and embraces his old identity.
Albert learns that Helen is pregnant and offers to marry her. Helen refuses, believing Albert does not love her, though Albert confirms her fear that Joe will abandon her and the child and go to America alone. Later that evening, when Joe and Helen get into a loud fight, Albert intervenes. Albert physically attacks Joe when he attempts to hurt Helen in a fit of rage; Joe throws Albert against a wall, and Albert hits his head. Albert dies later that night from a stroke.
Mrs. Baker discovers Albert's hidden money and uses it to revitalize the hotel. In the following months, Joe has gone to America and Helen has given birth to a son, Albert Joseph. Mrs. Baker hires Hubert to paint the entire hotel. Hubert meets Helen again, who breaks down and reveals that she will be separated from her son and thrown out into the street. Hubert tells her, "We can't let that happen, can we?", implying that she will look after her in lieu of Albert.
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