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Category: Albert Nobbs

Oscars 2012: Janet McTeer ready for a martini after 'Albert Nobbs' nom

January 24, 2012 | 11:26 am

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Did British actress Janet McTeer ever think her independent drama "Albert Nobbs" -- a small film about two women who dress as men to survive in 19th century Dublin, Ireland -- would go on to collect a trio of Oscar nominations?  "Never, not once," she said, reacting to word of her supporting actress nod Tuesday morning. "It’s just wonderful. It’s like a big birthday present. It’s so exciting that we’re here –- Glenn said she’s more excited than she’s ever been."

Glenn, of course, is best actress nominee Glenn Close, who labored for years to bring the film to the screen. McTeer plays lesbian Hubert Page in the movie, a passion project for Close, who first played the character in an Obie Award-winning off-Broadway production in 1982. She not only stars in the film — she also co-produced it and co-wrote the screenplay with Irish novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop.

The idea of playing a woman living as a man was "hugely intimidating," McTeer said. "Sometimes when people play cross-gender parts, you don’t necessarily have to believe they are fellows. Shakespeare is the first that comes to mind. But the nature of this film, is you have to believe … that everyone believes … that character is a guy. There’s no sense of humor about that in the film. So that’s an added pressure."

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"This was certainly one of the most challenging roles I’ve played to date," she added. "But I’m always drawn to challenging roles."

This is McTeer's second Oscar nomination -- her first came in the lead actress category 12 years ago for the film "Tumbleweeds" -- but she's not quite ready to say what the good news might portend for her career. "Who knows if it’s a turning point?" McTeer said. "You can have a big flurry of activity and then you think ‘I’d quite like to be at home for a bit.’"

As for her fellow nominees, McTeer had nothing but kind words. "There are some amazing, gorgeous women, gorgeous performances," she said. "It’s a very lovely group to be among. I’ve seen some of [their films] but the thing is, I refuse to watch movies on an airplane and I’ve been on a plane every three to five days since autumn! I’d wake up thinking I don’t know what country I’m in. So I’m slowly catching up. I watched 'The Artist' last night, which I thought was flawless."

And what's next for the 50-year-old actress? "It’s been a mad dash all day --  I was really surprised to be nominated -- and then at some point today, I shall completely collapse. In a fit of giggles. And at some point I’ll sneak in a martini or a glass of something cheeky."

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-- Deborah Vankin

Photo: Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs." Credit: Roadside Attractions


'Iron Lady,' 'Hugo' among films shortlisted for makeup Oscar

January 9, 2012 |  1:42 pm

  Albert

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday afternoon that seven films had made the short list in the makeup category for the 84th Academy Awards.

The films are: "Albert Nobbs," "Anonymous," "The Artist," "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life," "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," "Hugo" and "The Iron Lady."

Notably missing from the list was "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

All members of the Academy's makeup branch will be able to view 10-minute excerpts from the film on Jan. 21. After the screenings, the members will vote for three to be nominated on Jan. 24 for the Academy Award.

The Oscar ceremony takes place Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre.

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-- Susan King

Photo: "Albert Nobbs" made shortlist for Makeup Oscar. Credit: Patrick Redmond/Roadside Attractions


Sinead O'Connor performs at 'Albert Nobbs' soundtrack release party

January 7, 2012 |  1:32 pm

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Friday night, at a cocktail party celebrating the release of the “Albert Nobbs” soundtrack, Glenn Close, Sinead O’Connor and Irish composer Brian Byrne might have seemed an unlikely grouping. Close was well-coiffed in a tailored slacks and heels; O’Connor, barefoot, wore a floor-length black coat that revealed colorful chest tattoos; and Byrne, a self-described relative “newcomer” to A-list Hollywood circles, looked a bit star struck. 

But, in fact, the trio was in perfect harmony.

Close elegantly hosted the 100 or so guests –- mostly music executives, film producers and personal friends -- over caviar and tuna tartare appetizers at West Hollywood’s Palihouse. Byrne entertained the crowd with a piano performance. But the highlight of the affair, held by the Irish Film Board and Varese Sarabande Records, was undoubtedly O’Connor’s live performance of the film’s theme song, a melancholic Irish “lullaby” called “Lay Your Head Down.” 

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As O’Connor belted out the tune, with Steve Erdodie playing cello and Jennifer Curtis the violin, Close stood nearby with tears in her eyes. Not only does she star in “Nobbs” as a cross-dressing waiter circa 1890s, she also co-produced the movie, co-wrote the script and penned the lyrics for Byrne’s theme song, which O’Connor recorded for the film. It has since received a Golden Globe nomination.

So O’Connor’s performance Friday night was particularly meaningful for Close. “She has this extraordinary quite ethereal voice,” Close said, beaming.

Byrne, for his part, is particularly proud of Close’s lyrics. He said he composed the song shortly after his father had passed away, which largely inspired the song’s moody, heartfelt tone. But, hard as he tried, he couldn’t get the lyrics right. “Glenn knew every character inside and out. I said ‘Why don’t you write the lyrics?’ and she jumped at the chance,” Byrne said. “She brought another dimension to the score with these words that I could never write, and I think they’re really, really great. In essence, it’s made Albert live beyond the movie.”

To O’Connor, the song summons a key theme of the movie: “Just the idea of having someone who you can really be yourself with," she said, "reveal yourself, and they’ll accept you for who you are.” 

To hear the song, check out the video below:

-- Deborah Vankin

Twitter.com/@debvankin

Top photo: Sinead O'Connor performs "Lay Your Head Down" at Palihouse.  Credit: Deborah Vankin

Bottom photo: Glenn Close hosts the "Albert Nobbs" soundtrack party. Credit: Deborah Vankin


Breakfast gets interesting -- 'Albert Nobbs' exclusive clip

January 4, 2012 | 11:42 am

"Albert Nobbs" stars Glenn Close as a middle-aged sexual innocent who masquerades as a man to secure employment as a waiter in poverty-stricken 19th century Ireland. Quiet and withdrawn, Albert has been leading a double life, taping down her breasts and dressing as a man for so long she's lost touch with who she once was. British actress Janet McTeer plays Albert's confidant, Hubert Page, a lesbian secretly living in domestic bliss with the love of her life.

Based on the short story by 19th century Irish writer George Moore, the movie represents the culmination of a 30-year artistic odyssey for Close, one that netted her both Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations. She not only plays the title character (as she did in an Obie Award-winning off-Broadway production in 1982), she also co-produced the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Irish novelist John Banville and Gabriella Prekop. She even penned the lyrics for the movie's theme song.

Though the film has crossing-dressing woman at its center, Close told The Times the film is not about gender politics, but rather the universal quest for human connection.

"It's not a story about lesbianism,” Close said. “For Albert, it's about survival; it's only about sexual identity in that she has none."

Still, “Albert Nobbs” is rife with double entendres and gender play. In this exclusive clip from Roadside Attractions, Albert brings the heavy-drinking house doctor, played by Brendan Gleeson, his morning “eye-opener.”  The two “men” share a private moment -- could Albert be considering taking a wife?

--Deborah Vankin

Twitter.com/@debvankin


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