Albert Nobbs is a woman, who for 30 years has pretended to be a man in order to have a job of a waiter in various sophisticated hotels around the United Kingdom. The film, based on George Moore’s novel “The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs”, is directed by Rodrigo Garcia.

In 19th century Ireland, working class women did not experience any independence. Albert Nobbs is saving money for all these long years, because he has a dream to open a shop. By accident Mr. Nobbs meets Mr. Page (Janet McTeer), who is a female as well. Close to the end of film Mr. Nobbs and Mr. Page put on dresses and go to the seaside. After being a woman again, Mr. Nobbs realises that being a man is his sincere role, it is not pretending anymore. Female body is the only signifier of ‘her’ femininity. This film stresses that sex is not gender, because we learn how to be a man or woman. There is nothing natural inherent in one’s personality that is either feminine or masculine.

Albert Nobbs is trying to fulfil his dream about having his own shop. He even manages to pay in the first deposit and proposes to a waitress named Helen (Mia Wasikowska), who finds Nobbs very odd person. She is young and does not really understand why Nobbs has proposed to her, if he does not love her. There is an age difference and different expectations and understanding of marriage and love. Nobbs is aspiring for calm and lovely life in the room above the shop, whereas Helen is looking for passionate love and she believes that Joe (Aaron Johnson) is ‘the one’.

The acting of Glenn Close is brilliant, because she really makes you to believe in Albert Nobbs. You can feel ‘his’ sorrows, longings and dreams. Albert Nobbs is very introverted person and does not talk too much. This film does not have ‘happy endings’; it is much more like life, where different things really happen. It challenges idea that biological sex determines person’s gender, which is very masterfully shown.