Director Roland Emmerich takes a break from his long string of big-budget disaster films with Anonymous, a historical drama that suggests Shakespeare was a fraud. Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans) is an aristocrat who yearns to write poetry and plays, but due to social and political constraints, he is forced to use a front for his political-minded works because they subtly encourage Queen Elizabeth to alter her plan for succession in a way that is in direct opposition to her most-trusted political advisers. When drunken, illiterate, fame-hungry actor William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) passes off the plays as his own, de Vere finds his man, but eventually he is blackmailed when the morally dubious thespian wants more and more. Anonymous screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Disc #1 -- Anonymous Play Movie Languages Audio English English Audio Descriptive Service French Spanish Subtitles English English SDH French Spanish Chinese Traditional Subtitles Off Play Movie Scene Selection Special Features Commentary with Director Roland Emmerich and Writer John Orloff: On Commentary with Director Roland Emmerich and Writer John Orloff: Off Deleted Scenes Play All "Use Your Imagination Robert" Ben Visits The Earl of Oxford Funeral Scene Who is the Real William Shakespeare? Play Movie Previews
Anonymous 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
There may be pre-conceived opinions about this film dur to the nature...if that is the case, you should not be reading reviews, you have already made your decision. For those who enjoy period films, particularly interpretations of actual historical figures, and have no strong attachments to a glorified persona of William Shakespeare this film will delight you! I am a fan of Shakespeare works, but have never really delved into the back-stories of the era. As it turns out, there is a rather large movement who believe that William Shakespeare was not in fact a writer but a facade for a nobleman writer so that his controversial and politically satiric stories could be seen without backlash at court. This and a few other conpiracy theories surrounding Elizabeth I set the stage for Anonymous and provide a rollicking good watch drenched in drama, satire, and passion. This film does not pretend to be a true account but rather presents a view of what may very possibly have been...I will watch this film over and over again for the refreshing take on a beautiful period and the magnificent acting throughout - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
The story is perfectly ludicrous, indulging in the weirdest fringes of the Oxfordian "theory". Emmerich and his writer are why this film sucks. BUT -- Emmerich at least knew enough to hire good people, talented directors of Shakespearean theater to direct the excerpts from the various plays, expert costume designers knowledgeable in the period, historians who actually know their Elizabethan London and directed the excellent cgi team in recreating it for the big screen -- and the acting is generally quite good. So we have a weird case of a film masterminded by idiots but implemented by real artisans, and as a result it's worth watching for the acting, and the costumes, and the sets, and the theater productions, and the recreation of London -- just not for the story, which is among the more idiotic ever set to screen. Really, the artisanal aspects are so good that the film would otherwise deserve 3.5 stars -- but only gets two because the idiocy of the storytelling is THAT pronounced! I mean, Shakespeare's works were not only supposedly written by the Earl of Oxford, but oh yes did we also tell you that the Earl of Oxford was not only the illegitimate son of Queen Elizabeth but grew up to become her secret lover, by whom she then became pregnant with her own granddaughter? Yes, that's the storyline here folks, presented in all high seriousness and with no irony and less wit.
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