Glenn Close's 'Albert Nobbs' coming to theaters in the fall, and maybe Oscars?
Glenn Close hasn't been a formidable Oscar contender since the 1980s, when in a seven-year span she landed a remarkable five nominations, for her roles in films such as "Fatal Attraction" and "Dangerous Liaisons."
That could change this year: The actress' new gender-bending drama, "Albert Nobbs," has been acquired for distribution by film companies Liddell Entertainment and Roadside Attractions. The companies said Tuesday they will bring the film to theaters in the fall and plan an Oscar campaign for Close.
A sort of of Irish "Yentl," "Nobbs" centers on a woman who poses as a male butler in a Dublin hotel in the 1860s, pretending to be a man so she can survive economically. The film's drama turns on a relationship Nobbs has with a male painter who turns out to have a secret of his own.
Close played the character in an off-Broadway production of the story in the early 1980s, winning an Obie Award for her effort. (The play was adapted from a short story by George Moore, as "The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs.")
“Glenn Close appears in nearly every frame as Albert Nobbs, and her performance is masterful,” Liddell Entertainment principal Mickey Liddell said in a statement. “This is an intimate film full of big ideas in the tradition of 'Gosford Park' and 'Sense and Sensibility.' "
Close, who co-wrote and produced the movie, has been trying to get a film version made for years before securing financing for the Irish-based production in 2010. Rodrigo Garcia ("Mother & Child," "Six Feet Under") directed; the film also stars young comers Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson -- both came on last year after Amanda Seyfried and Orlando Bloom dropped out.
Close has taken home an armload of statuettes in her career. Known recently for her role as the complicated Patty Hewes in the FX hit "Damages, " she has won three Emmys, three Tonys and two Golden Globes but has never walked off with an Oscar.
Gender-benders tend to go over well come Oscar time: "Transamerica," "The Crying Game" and "Yentl" all yielded acting nominations.
Photo: Glenn Close. Credit: Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times