The news wasn’t too bad at all for Irish Oscar hopes on Tuesday. As widely expected, Glenn Close was nominated for Best Actress for her amazing turn as woman who lives her life as a man in 19th century Ireland in Albert Nobbs. The movie, which was filmed in Ireland last year, also earned a Best Supporting Actress nod for Janet McTeer, and a nomination for make-up.  

The high-profile Oscar attention should ensure that Albert Nobbs is seen by a wide audience in the lead-up to the awards show on Sunday, February 26.

Close was waiting to go to work on the set of her TV series Damages when she heard the good news early Tuesday morning. "I'm thrilled. I'm over the moon,” she told the Los Angeles Times.  

Will her sixth Oscar nomination turn out to be the lucky one?  Close is just happy to have made the grade, she told Entertainment Weekly.

“It’s an incredibly strong year for women. It’s just so thrilling to be in the company of these other women — and cross generational, which is great. I honestly have kept myself from buying into the winner/loser frame of mind, because I don’t see the positive side of that.”  For more with Close, check out Cahir O’Doherty’s interview on Page 22.

Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh will celebrate his fifth Oscar nomination thanks to his Best Supporting Actor nod for My Week With Marilyn.  The film’s star, Michelle Williams, was cited in the Best Actress category.

"I'm sort of speechless, it's really rare and amazing. Even though you are in the business to get an Oscar nominations, in each of those cases it felt like a once-in-a-lifetime moment each time I was nominated," Branagh told Variety. "And frankly my first reaction (this time) was what about Michelle, because in the end it's all about the team."


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Belfast’s Terry George also made the grade with his short film The Shore. Shot on location in Northern Ireland, The Shore is about a man who emigrated to the U.S. 25 years ago to escape the Troubles and is now bringing his daughter back to meet his childhood friends. 

"It's the highest accolade you can get from your peers and the industry," George told Radio Ulster on Tuesday.

"What's special about this is that the tiny little film we made with my family and the people of Killough, Co. Down, taking it to the Oscars is an amazing achievement.”

George is no stranger to past Oscar thrills, either. He’s been nominated twice before in the screenplay categories for the films In the Name of the Father and Hotel Rwanda.

The biggest Oscar let-down for the Irish? Poor Michael Fassbender, who literally exposed every inch of himself as a sex addict in the critically acclaimed Shame, but couldn’t get any love in return from the Academy.  His snub lit up the Internet on Tuesday, with most pundits expressing shock.

“Can you even believe this one? Michael Fassbender, who gives one of the best performances of any year in the indie sex-addiction drama Shame, was left off the list for Best Actor,” fumed AOL’s Moviefone website.

“In his place, either upstart Demian Bichir or veteran Gary Oldman, two well-respected journeymen who saw their Oscar profile rise during the last two months, while Fassbender's festival heat faded.  Here's guessing he was the sixth nominee for Best Actor, which is -- wait for it -- a real shame.”

Fassbender, whose manhood was praised by none other than George Clooney at the Golden Globes, will likely turn up at the Oscars as a presenter.  And at least the Irish-German actor had a good time last week at the London Critics’ Circle Awards.  He walked away from that one with the Best Actor trophy.

Here, watch the trailer for Michael Fassbender's 'Shame' Do you think it should have been nominated:

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