Much, much better than I expected.
It's a story about chameleons, sort of, of two women in 19th century Dublin who, for different reasons, live their lives as men.
Glenn Close is Albert, a waiter in nice hotel run by the greedy and pretentious Mrs. Baker (Pauline Collins.) Albert's lived her life in drag for over 30 years and it's become a prison and a barrier to any intimacy with other humans, until Mrs. Baker hires a painter, Hubert Page (Janet McTeer,) and Albert discovers she's not the only one living a lie. Hubert, who lives with wife Cathleen (Bronagh Gallagher in a small but memorable role) in a small house and dress shop, is the catalyst for Albert's trying to realize her dream of using her life savings to open a shop of her own and taking a wife. Albert sets her sights on Helen (Mia Wasikowska,) a lovely blonde waitress. The only problem is that Helen is in love with a real -- but abusive -- young prick, Joe Mackins (Aaron Johnson.)
It's no revelation that Glenn Close (who also shares a screenwriting credit) is a good actress, but she really gets the chance to show what she's capable of as Albert Nobbs, with a supporting cast of other great performers including Brendan Gleeson, all guided by the capable hands of Colombian director Rodrigo Garcia.