It has to be said that Glenn Close is an actress who, nominated several times for an academy award for both best leading and best supporting actress, yet not winning once, deserves a break, and slightly more recognition than she receives. Throughout her acting career (films of fun aside) her performances have been engaging and whole-hearted; it is incredibly clear how much of herself she divests into each play, film, or musical, and it is this - as well as her magnificent and nuanced acting - that garners the respect and awe of her fans.
In Albert Nobbs - a film produced, co-written, and acted by Close from early in her career, when she featured on the stage production - a new side of Close is visible. Her erratic and overwhelming fits of mania in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons are matched by a softer, yet much more profound approach to a character wholly unlike those she has played before. In her portrayal of a woman condemned to live out her life as a man to survive in austerity Ireland, and to be able to face her dangerous past and confront her unknown future, there are sides to Close that reveal a lot about her own travails. Her melancholy acceptance; her desperation for someone to know her secret and her fear to tell; all of the profiles to a deeply complex character are explored.
I am exceedingly glad Close was nominated again for her performance in this film (at the age of 64 she isn't doing too badly), as I am about her co-actor Janet McTeer, whose performance as Hubert Page is brought off with a fine heart and much insouciant humour; yet it is hard to believe that her entire career hasn't been overshadowed by fellow mega-actress Meryl Streep, who has beaten Close to the punch at the oscars on more than one occasion. Nevertheless, it will be safe in my heart that Close deserved to win, and this film is perhaps my favourite of all time.