December 18, 2014
The idea that Shakespeare didn't write his plays is not a new one and is definitely worthy of a film treatment but Emmerich isn't clear which direction he should take this. Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? Is it a tragedy? He seems to have modelled the film on the whole of Shakespeare's canon and the whole thing is a hodgepotch of styles. Ifans is very good as the lead but Spall seems to be playing more of the comedy and it all gets a bit ridiculous towards the end with loads of secrets revealed. A nice try but it's all a bit of a mess.
August 13, 2012
When I first saw this, I enjoyed it at the same time confused when I didn't know what was happening because of its structure. But when I watched it again, I enjoyed it more because it became more understanding. The director, who's known directing disaster films, did a fine job directing a film on Shakespeare that was well made on how well the performances were, along with the writing and the script. (B)
(Full review coming soon)
July 28, 2014
Roland Emmerich seems an unexpected choice to direct this intriguing historical drama that audauciously claims Shakespeare was not really author of thework attributed to him, but really that of an Earl (Rhys Ifans), who must hide authorship due to his complicated position and a murky connection to Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redrave, excellent). Sumptuos production, starts out a little confusingly (abundant flashbacks are not very well signposted) and has a few dull spots, but remains an effectively lurid, if fictional, tale of conspiracy.
July 27, 2014
HISTORIA INTERESANTE QUE ACTORES
December 4, 2011
Impressive cinematography and performances; Rhys Ifans is an absolute standout. Despite its historical creativity, there are some great lines about the power and endurance of words. The money invested in authentic Elizabethan England setting representation is well spent in that it shows how emotionally involved audiences became with Shakespeare's plays. What if Shakespeare was a fraud, well at the end of the day, the answer doesn't really matter. In this instance, it is the journey that matters and a mesmerising one it is.
September 24, 2011
Interesting take on who actually created the body of work credited to William Shakespeare.
October 24, 2011
Really enjoyed this. Some really good performances, an intriguing plot, and some great FX work! Probably the best depictions of London in the 1500s that you'll ever likely to see.
A surprising film from the man who gave us 'Independance Day' and 'The Day After Tomorrow'!
November 5, 2011
Better made, it might be JUST 3 but
It's gets us with great staging and color...
the plot is good
April 15, 2011
With unawareness, 'Anonymous' (2011) tries hard to explain Shakespeare's work-life and its history. It isn't problem solving, but is a dark and interesting visual experience. Love it or hate it.
April 8, 2014
While it is the most mature Roland Emerich movie to date and the acting is decent, it is sometimes hard to buy the theory that the director presents to us about one of the most influential writers of our time.
April 27, 2014
An interesting speculation and well played out, leaving nothing to 'what if?' and perhaps even most convincing. A blend of Shakespeare in Love & Elizabeth, and equally as good as both, Anonymous is screened well and acted brilliantly, its only flaw being a little confusing at first in the backwards and forth between time frames.
April 24, 2014
Roland Emmerich oferece sua marca registrada bombástica visual e emocional, mas o filme "Anônimo" pára e tenta convencer o público de sua teoria semi-cozida de que Shakespeare é uma fraude, menos convincente, torna-se
April 9, 2014
Interesting theory on the legacy of Shakespeare, and I highly enjoyed the way his plays were used for political statements. Rhys Ifans is great as the puppeteer behind the grand illusion of the playwright, and Vanessa Redgrave is equally effective as the floozy, Queen Elizabeth. The film's shortcomings are in it's simplicity and I wish it had delved more into why the Earl of Oxford was such a brilliant writer, instead of him just doing it in his spare time. It also plays out as a greatest hits of Shakespeare for a large section, as if to remind viewers of his work; which we all know. Not terrible, and Roland Emmerich has certainly made worse films but this has an intriguing idea and there are some crazy turns in the final act.
March 18, 2014
John Orloff has written and Roland Emmerich has directed a truly remarkable and highly believable tale. It is a triumph for Oxfordians.
It is also an excellent immersion into the world of Elizabethan England and introduction into the world of Shakespeare and the controversies over authorship.
April 8, 2011
This is the definition of a forgettable movie. It most likely captured movie goers attention with its intriguing theory, but the final result is just dull, with a couple of slightly intenser moments.
February 25, 2014
Excellent movie, one of my favourites both being history and conspiracy. This movie offers you breathtaking visuals as well as an interesting and very controversial theory for those in the liberal arts. Did shakespeare write his plays? To many this question is a no brainer, but he had no substantial education where as edward de vere was highly educated. With that being said this movie was breathtaking filled with all the historical characters you could want (Elizabeth I, the Cecils, Jonson, Marlowe, Shakespeare, De Vere) and though it may make small mistakes at times it more than makes up for it with its excellent and moving dialogue. The movie is filled with moments that grab you and never let go. My top 5 favourite movies.
February 20, 2014
The tagline for this alternative historical drama by Rowland Emmerich reads quite simply "Was Shakespeare A Fraud?" After watching it, one answer is left ringing starkly in the ears of the audience: "Who Cares?"
Having spent the better part of the last fifteen years spreading widespread fear about the destruction of humanity, it could be argued that this is in fact the first attempt in a long time by German Hollywood sooth-sayer to make a film purely for art (as opposed to commercial) purposes.
As the tagline suggests, the whole plot centers around the core premise that the works of Shakespeare were actually the works of dishonored courtier Edward Cecil (Rhys Ifans) who used the medium of theater to exact his own political ambitions against the family to which he was indebted but also despised, all at the expense of one Benjamin Johnson (the man who would inevitably become Britain's first Poet Lauriette) .
The likenesses to several characters from Shakespeare's various plays and supposedly real characters from history is at times a little too stark for my taste. Especially the scene where the young Edward finds a spy in his private chambers which seems to have been lifted straight out of Hamlet. Most telling though is how the Bard himself is portrayed in the film. Gone is the dignified, swan-necked reverence of Joseph Fiennes and in it's place we are presented with a buffoon. The sort of laughable dimwitted charlatan which could be likened to Roderigo from Othello.
Emmerich's attempt at reducing the greatest literary mind of the Early Modern era to some an opportunistic, fraudulent thespian who achieved fame for Cecil's labor purely because he possessed the ambition to seize it, is a bold statement to be sure but it can never dilute the feelings of blasphemy (regardless of it's subtle delivery). Similarly the other playwrights are treated with the same brazen disrespect, especially Christopher Marlowe who, though offered his own level of dignity by Tom Stoppard, is reduced in John Orloff's script the role of a snooty and obnoxious gnit-picker.
Predictably, the best performances come from David Thewlis and Derek Jacobi (whose narrator is tragically denied any real screen time other than to bookend the beginning and epilogue). Thewlis is his usual stern best as the patriarchal elder Cecil, often outshining the often by-the-numbers performance of Ifans. An honorable mention should also be given to Julie Christie as the young Queen Elizabeth, even though at times she simply feels like a composite of Cate Blanchett and Gwynneth Paltrow.
So what to make of this somewhat mixed up take on one of Britain's great historical conspiracies? As a period drama about sedition during the Elizabethan Golden Age, or as a classical tragedy, it is quite satisfactory. As an exploration into the works of Shakespeare not so much. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, Anonymous as a film disproves it's own relevance by simply offering a single abstract answer. It was a valiant effort by Rowland Emmerich to try and change his formula to strive more toward and ethical subject than one of doom and gloom. However, as the first paragraph clearly observes about the subject matter, by the time the final credits roll on Anonymous one is left with only one thought in mind; "Who Cares?"
February 18, 2014
Meandering story that is hard to follow unless you are a historian or decide to take a Wikipedia break to look up some of the key characters/events.
The play-within-a-play framing device feels a bit clumsy, even if Derek Jacobi is a pleasure to hear. The portrayal of the queen was disappointing, not in terms of the acting, but in terms of the caricature: jealous, whimsical, somewhat scatterbrained, tool of her councillors, more in thrall to her sexual interests than her senses. All the other females were quite one-dimensional. Meanwhile, there were also some strange allusions to some of the men's possible homosexuality, but this was not explored (in which case, why play with the idea?).
All in all, disappointing.
February 15, 2014
I am impressed by many reasons but , most of all, with the fact this movie is so underrated may be it historically accurate or not. This movie is gorgeous in more ways than one, with solid acting by Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave and the reason people seem to dislike it so much is because it offers an answer to the long lasting conumdrum of Shakespeare´s authorship. This movie was much more interesting than the Oscar-awarded " Shakespeare in Love"
October 18, 2011
Doesn't get off to the best start but once the political intrigue gets into full swing the story becomes totally engrossing.