Glenn Close takes another stab at Oscar this fall with ‘Albert Nobbs’

It’s one thing not to be nominated, but to be left at the altar five times?  Welcome to Glenn Close’s world. Granted, it’s not as depressing as Peter O’Toole’s record eight nominations without a win, but it’s close.  Now, after two Emmys and a Golden Globe for her work on “Damages,” Close is returning to the big screen with a triple shot at bringing home a long deserved Academy Award.  Today, Liddell Entertainment and Roadside Attractions announced they will partner to release Rodrigo Garcia’s “Albert Nobbs,” starring, co-written and co-produced by Close, this fall.  Yes, awards season adds another player to the mix.

Based on George Moore’s novella “The Singulair Life of Albert Nobbs,” the drama finds Close playing a woman passing as a man in order to survive life in 19th Century Dublin. Close is no stranger to the role having starred in an Off-Broadway run of Simone Benmussa’s stage adaptation way back in 1982.  This version, on the other hand, was written by Gabriella Prekop, John Banville and Close from a story by Ivan Szabo.  The picture also features a stellar ensemble including Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Brendan Gleeson. Helmer Garcia is best known for “Nine Lives,” “Mother and Child” and his debut, “Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her.”

This is the second major partnership for Liddell and Roadside who released the difficult to market “Biutiful” this past winter.  The Javier Bardem drama surprised many by landing two Academy Award nominations including best actor for Bardem and best foreign language picture.  It also grossed $5.1 million domestically, a figure many pundits and competitors thought was seriously out of reach after the film’s Cannes debut.  Needless to say, along with their success on “Winter’s Bone,” Roadside’s marketing team in on a winning streak that should assist “Nobbs” during award season.

In a statement from the two companies, Mickey Liddell noted, “Glenn Close appears in nearly every frame as Albert Nobbs, and her performance is masterful. This is an intimate film full of big ideas in the tradition of ‘Gosford Park’ and ‘Sense and Sensibility.'”

Roadside co-president Eric d’Arbeloff added, “This great story about a woman forced to hide in plain sight will resonate with contemporary filmgoers.  Glenn Close is one of the true leading ladies of American cinema, and her vision for this film is incredibly inspiring.”

Intriguingly, both Close’s biggest competition in the actress field could be Meryl Streep who last won in 1983 and is looking to rectify that with “The Iron Lady.” The New Yorkers have gone up against each other twice in the best actress category previously and each came away empty handed. 1988 found Close honored for her signature role in “Fatal Attraction” and Streep snuck in for the downtrodden “Ironweed.” Unfortunately, Cher swept the Academy off their feet that year in “Moonstruck.” In 1989, one of the most competitive best actress races ever, Close was up for “Dangerous Liasons” and Streep went Aussie for “A Cry in the Dark.” Instead, Jodie Foster took home her first for “The Accused.”  Perhaps a tie is in order.  Or, maybe Close will find herself with a screenplay Oscar instead. Never say never.

“Albert Nobbs” should hit theaters and the early festival circuit sometime this fall.