In our house at this time of year we receive many DVDs of recently, and soon to be released, movies. Most are movies we've already heard of: The Artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...
Alright not all of them begin with "The."
Nor do some of them have any business fishing for votes from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, or that wacky bunch who call themselves the Hollywood Foreign Press.
For example, Albert Nobbs which, if it's title started with "The," should've been called The Tedious Little Man Who Is Actually a Tedious Little Woman.
Yet, despite its many, many flaws, which include maximum boringness, and complete lack of suspense, Albert Nobbs' is a prototypical award season movie, because it contains three elements that the various voters can't seem to resist:
1. English Speaking Non-Americans in Period Costumes.
2. Poignancy and Seriousness of the Vintage Artisanal Variety.
3. Actors Playing Against Genitalia.
However unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, or Shakespeare in Love, not to mention The English Patient, The Last Emperor and... Ghandi, Albert Nobbs the movie is a world class snoozer. And not just because Glenn Close is a mega-famous American actress realizing a strange life long dream by playing an inconspicuous little woman pretending to be an invisible little man. That might actually have been interesting if the character was believable, but she's not.
For one thing, as portrayed by Ms. Close, Albert Nobbs can't answer even a simple question without taking a five second, emotion-drenched, pause. This is a liability for anyone, but especially for a waiter. Yeah, Albert's a WAITER, and not just any waiter. She/he's a waiter in a fancy hotel in 1890s Dublin, Ireland!
I lived in Ireland when I was a kid, and I've been back many times since. Nobody in Ireland talks as slowly as Albert Nobbs. They may take a while to get to the point, but no self-respecting Irish-waitress-pretending-to-be-an-Irish-waiter would last a day letting her Suppressed Emotions keep her from talking. Point being you put this girl/guy Nobbs in the real Ireland and she/he's toast.
With this in mind I herewith present The (missing) scene from Albert Nobbs.
Hotel Kitchen, Day.
Albert Nobbs enters, gazes about.
Molly the Cook looks up.
Molly: Whaht the Divil's the mahhter with ye, Albert?
PAUSE. Albert swallows, blinks, says nothing.
Molly: Did yer Ma pull the tung outta yer t'roat whin yew wuz a wee lad, Albert??
PAUSE. Albert allows a trace of a smile, his lips tremble, he says nothing.
Molly: Albert, are ye deaf, sure??
Albert finally looks toward Molly, his eyes filled with unspoken longing, or something. PAUSE.
Seamus the Waiter enters.
PAUSE. Albert looks down, almost says something, but doesn't.
Seamus: Sure Molly don'tcha knoow, Albert's a feckin' imbecile!
PAUSE. Albert swallows, blinks, has a bunch more non-verbal feelings, and says nothing.
Molly: Aye, and 'e duz look a wee bit girrly duz 'e not?
Seamus: Aye! Now ya come tae it, I think Albert's a wee girrul playin' at dress up!! Come on then, Albert, let us 'ave a look at ye!
PAUSE. Albert's eyes silently express his immense amount of (you guessed it) unspoken feelings... but FINALLY the words burst forth!
Albert: All roight ye nosy feckin' wankers! 'ere's me vagina!! Are ye happy now!!
Speechless for the first time in their lives, Seamus and Molly silently long to live in the age of digital cameras.
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