This film is not really about promoting an alternate theory of authorship so much as presenting an intriguing (if unlikely) scenario and seeing how it would play out. It makes for a ripping good story, whether or not it's factual.
A tale worthy of a Shakespeare play in its own right when not more suited for the Enquirer, the film is striking to behold. But a great deal longer than it needs to be, tossing in homicidal swordplay, vintage boy toys and kinky inbred royal closet lust.
Bountiful in look and scandal yet convoluted in plot and historical validity, Anonymous tries to be a serious work of art but doesn't have the credibility or filmmaking discipline needed to present its wild conspiracy theories.
What's disappointing about Anonymous is that it isn't dumb enough. Rather than plunging merrily ahead with its fanciful counternarrative, the movie keeps stopping to actually, seriously make its case -- to posit and explain and persuade.