Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

Albert Nobbs (♦♦♦♦)

Albert Nobbs (Glenn Close) is a waiter in a small hotel in Dublin. He has two big secrets: one, he is actually a woman. Two, he has a huge stash of money hidden under his bedroom’s floor. When Mr. Paige, a painter, comes to do temporary work at the hotel, he is accommodated in Mr. Nobbs’ bedroom, which only has one bed. During the course of the night, Mr. Paige learns that Albert is a woman. Feeling in danger of being exposed, Albert begins to shower Mr. Paige with attention, until Mr. Paige entrusts Albert with a similar secret of his own.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nobbs is financially close to fulfilling his dream of owning a tobacco shop, but all comes to a screeching halt due to a love triangle he becomes part of with a hotel maiden named Helen (Mia Wasikowska), who is in love with a good-for-nothing young hotel employee named Joe.

Albert Nobbs is without doubt one of the finest movies of this 2012 Award Season. Glenn Close delivers a top notch performance (one of the best of the year, perhaps eclipsed only by Meryl Streep’s in The Iron Lady) with a quite intensity that engraves the soul. Glenn Close looks so utterly androgynous, that it’s hard to accept that she is behind the title’s character. Mia Wasikowska is equally brilliant in a far more passionate role than the ones she has been given up to this point.

This movie is a period piece without pretensions. The photography is fantastic. The director doesn’t resort to cheap emotional tricks to capture the audience’s attention, instead he leaves it to the story, powerful, yet subtle enough to pierce your heart…And it does it quite effectively.