Two Oscar nominees in the same movie is usually cause for celebration, but not so much with “Albert Nobbs,” one of six movies opening in Salt Lake City this weekend.
“Albert Nobbs” stars Glenn Close in the title role: A fastidious head waiter at a 19th-century Irish hotel who's hiding a big secret – that he's really a woman. Close and Janet McTeer, as a journeyman painter also masquerading as a man, are really good. But the movie, directed by Rodrigo Garcia, doesn't tell a story worthy of those performances.
The weekend's best movie is “A Dangerous Method,” an intelligent look at the relationship between pioneering psychologists Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), and between Jung and a patient-turned-colleague (Keira Knightley). Director David Cronenberg and screenwriter Christopher Hampton smartly detail how the personal interplay influenced their theories about psychoanalysis – while also getting kinky with Jung's affair with Knightley's character.
“Man on a Ledge” isn't nearly as intellectual. It's a ridiculous and action-packed heist thriller, involving a disgraced cop (Sam Worthington) trying clear his name by stepping onto a 21st story ledge in Manhattan – to act as a diversion while his brother (Jamie Bell) busts into a nearby jewel vault owned by a nasty tycoon (Ed Harris). The plot is implausible as all get out, but there is one bright spot: Elizabeth Banks' feisty performance as the one good cop in the whole thing.
There's plenty of local flavor in “Unitards,” director Scott Featherstone's locally made comedy about high-school boys who form a dance troupe. The movie is silly, and overloaded with cliches and montages – but the movie's spirit is strangely infectious.
Two movies are opening this week without being screened for critics: “The Grey,” in which Liam Neeson must fight off wolves; and “One for the Money,” starring Katherine Heigl as a bounty hunter based on Janet Evanovich's mystery novels.