Albert Nobbs (2011)
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Rodrigo García|
Maria Doyle Kennedy
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
When this year's Oscar nominations were announced there was a curious anomaly. For the film Albert Nobbs’ two actresses, Glenn Close and Janet McTeer, were nominated for their performances as women pretending to be men. Neither won. This film will be appreciated by drama fans who like quality performances. As with The Iron Lady this is a film where the acting is the main selling point. The film itself is a little quaint and dry.
Albert Nobbs is a middle-aged waiter working in a hotel in Dublin in the difficult times of the late 19th century. He is respected by his peers though most find him a little strange. He is strange. For Albert Nobbs is a woman. In order to find work in the tough economic climate the London born woman has assumed a male identity and has been living with that secret for many years.
When the somewhat imperious manager of the hotel, played by Pauline Collins, employs a masculine painter to do some extended work at the hotel she makes the shock demand that the painter, Hubert Page, share accommodation, i.e., a bed, with Albert Nobbs. Nobbs is stricken with fear that her secret will be outed. Despite best endeavours ultimately her secret is exposed. Hubert promises to keep the secret safe, only later revealing that she too is a woman.
Hubert has lived a very different life from Albert. She lives in a happy, seemingly normal relationship with a woman. Albert is inspired by the liberating thought that he may be able to take a wife (Albert is basically asexual) and believes that he can finally realise his ultimate dream, to open a small shop. With Hubert as his inspiration Albert begins to court the young maid Helen, played by Mia Wasikowska, who is at first appalled by the thought that the strange old Mr Nobbs could be interested in her. Helen has her eyes set on the young boilermaker Joe (Kickass's Aaron Johnson) who longs to escape Ireland for the wonders of the new world. The path from dreams to reality for these characters is a difficult one with poverty, illness and dashed hopes just around the corner.
Albert Nobbs feels a little out-dated. That may be because Glenn Close has been keen on making it since she appeared in the stage play some 29 years ago. The story is taken from a novella "The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs" by George Moore which was published in 1918. There isn't really enough of a plot to sustain the film and by concentrating on two "outsiders" there is not a lot of contrast or understanding of the difficulties faced by these two brave women.
The film was directed by experienced television helmer Rodrigo Garcia. The story is played in a conventional sense and lacks the drama to make it a truly moving film. Nevertheless, Glenn Close, almost unrecognisable in her Oscar-nominated make up, puts in a terrific performance and McTeer also justly deserved her nomination as the swaggering, confident Hubert.
Albert Nobbs was shot on the Red One Camera (high-definition digital video). It was printed onto celluloid for projection at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. That ratio has been preserved for this DVD release. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The digital video provides a crisp and clear image quality throughout. This is a drab, industrial era and the colours on show are fairly muted.
Experience cinematographer Michael McDonough brings the same sort of bleak beauty to this film that he brought to Winter's Bone.
The flesh tones are accurate.
There are no issues with compression or any obvious defects.
There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired.
Albert Nobbs features two English soundtracks-a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track running at 448 Kb/s and a Dolby Digital 2.0 track running at 224 Kb/s.
Both are adequate for the demands of this chamber piece. Although the street sounds are given extra ambience by the 5.1 track this is really not a film which involves much straying from the centre channel. The sub-woofer is never really called out to play.
The dialogue is clear and easy to understand including Nobbs's strange tone.
There is an original score by Irish composer Brian Byrne which gives strong support to the film capturing the spirit of the times and also the emotion of the film.
There are no defects in the sound.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is only one extra included with this DVD. It consists of three deleted scenes:
The extra materials are slight but worth a watch.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this film features a commentary track from Garcia and Close making it a clearly superior product.
Albert Nobbs probably works better as a stage play. As a film it is a little slight. There is much joy to be found, however, in the central performances.
The DVD looks and sounds pretty good, bearing in mind that the sound makes very few demands.
The deleted scenes are worth viewing but of little weight.
|DVD||Cambridge 650BD (All Regions), using HDMI output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW80 Projector on 110" Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer SC-LX 81 7.1|
|Speakers||Aaron ATS-5 7.1|