Interesting but flawed movie which slips into feminist campaigning mode
- Albert Nobbs review by PV
This is an interesting film well worth watching. It was a bit spoilt for me by the fact I knew the story and also that the women-dressed-as-men really do still look like women - albeit manly women or lesbians, but still very much female - so the suspension of disbelief is tested.
But this film really falls down when it starts to become a sort of campaign for women's rights or lesbian rights, instead of telling a story: it seems at time like propaganda, a manifesto, a polemical appeal for gay rights and women's rights. For example, EVERY single male character in this movie is a 'bad guy' - even the kindly doctor is a drunk - and all the men here are useless at best, bastards at worse, and treat women badly and run away from their responsibilities. One wonders if Glenn Close would be uncritical of a movie that did the equal and opposite and stereotyped all women as child beaters and devious sleeparounds to blame for all bad in the world?
Using modern standards to criticise the thinking and behaviour of others who lived in the past is wrong and silly - but it is the basis of much politically correct and revisionist thinking (and most university history courses too, it seems!)
Having said that, the film is based on a short story by a well-known Irish writer who no doubt witnessed a lot of drunken boorish oirishness and abuse of women by macho countrymen, so if this is faithful to the story then one has to blame the novellist and not the screenwriter!
But really, if black people were portrayed as men are in this, then that film would be banned.
Apart from that, it's still enjoyable - though the sets do not look nearly dirty and poverty-stricken enough, and pretty boy Aaron as an illiterate drunken waster is arguably miscast. Really it's juts a love story and a melodrama - but really sexuality or gender would not be the most important problem faced back then: poverty would be. The identity politics of the 60s onwards which put race and gender and sexuality above all else are on display in Albert Nobbs.
So really, an average 2.5-3 star rating. Worth watching as a curiosity piece.
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
Interesting and powerful film
- Albert Nobbs review by GG
I found this to be a very powerful film that explores and examines sexual oppression, exploitation and gender equality in an era dominated by convention and patriarchy. I was moved as I watched the layers become unravelled and marvelled in some of the performances which to some degree were very stylistic. I was particularly struck by Janet McTeer who played the role of Mr. Page. Five stars from me - an interesting and thoughtful film.
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.