This film seemed to be getting everyone excited a while back but now it's out in the UK it feels like it's been forgotten about. Almost like the reverse of the eponymous character played by Glenn Close. Posing as a man in order to get a job at a hotel in late 19th century Dublin Albert gets adept at blending in, almost melting into the background then when shown the possibilities of the life he could lead becomes a little bolder. Just a little.
It is a brilliantly subtle performance from Close. Albert doesn't say a great deal verbally but there is so much going on in the eyes. Janet McTeer, fellow cross dresser, too puts in a wonderful performance. The re-frocking scene is particularly superb and shows just how much of a male demeanor these two woman have taken on.
There is a superb supporting cast too with the likes of Brendan Gleeson, Pauline Collins, Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson but there is something stopping this from being a five star movie, it's ironic flaw. The problem, you see, is that because Albert is so much in the background and so secretive and quiet that you never really get the measure of him. Central to the plot are Albert's plans to open his own shop and get married however there is a big question mark over his motives. Does Albert want to marry a woman as a man or as a woman?
Albert Nobbs is still a very well made, engrossing and deeply moving film but this question hanging over the central narrative thread left an unsatisfying taste in my mouth.
It's getting 79% from me. On IMDb it has 66% from critics and a Metacritic rating of 57% while on Rotten Tomatoes it has 55% from critics and 49% of visitors gave it three and half stars or more.
I'm getting a bit worried about Johnny Depp. I can't remember the last time I saw him in a really great film, probably the first Pirates of the Caribbean. He used to be an actor I'd run out and see whatever he was in but the pull is starting to wain even if he does remain drop dead gorgeous.
It's not that Dark Shadow is a bad film it just isn't great. First there isn't much in his performance that you haven't already seen - heavy doses of Edward Scissorhands for example. The biggest problem is that it isn't really much of anything. It's not funny enough to be a comedy despite a potentially amusing premise (18th century vampire is unwittingly released from his coffin prison in 1971). There is not quite enough horror to make it satisfying as a film of that genre and not quite enough family drama to be, well, a family drama.
Of course with Tim Burton at the helm it is beautifully gothic and has his style stamped all over it and there is much to admire there. It also has some brilliant effects (love the china doll effect of baddie Angelique) but his pairing with Mr Depp and small role for long time beau/mother of his children Helen Bonham Carter is just starting to feel a bit cliquey and like it is running out of steam.
And I confess that I did get a bit bored at times. It's just not enough of anything and it's a shame because there is much promise within it.
I'm giving it 59%. On IMDb it's got 67% and a Metacritic score of 56% while on Rotten Tomatoes it has 42% from critics and 55% of visitors gave it three and a half stars or more.