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Anonymous (I) (2011)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 31,212 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 129 user | 278 critic | 43 from Metacritic.com

The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her.

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Title: Anonymous (2011)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Plot is unknown.

Director: Roland Emmerich
Stars: Liam Hemsworth
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paolo De Vita ...
Francesco
Trystan Gravelle ...
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Thomas Dekker
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Thomas Nashe
Julian Bleach ...
Captain Richard Pole
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Storyline

Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, is presented as the real author of Shakespeare's works. Edward's life is followed through flashbacks from a young child, through to the end of his life. He is portrayed as a child prodigy who writes and performs A Midsummer Night's Dream for a young Elizabeth I. A series of events sees his plays being performed by a frontman, Shakespeare. Written by Anonymous

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Taglines:

Was Shakespeare a Fraud?


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content | See all certifications »

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 October 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anónimo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,012,768 (USA) (28 October 2011)

Gross:

$4,463,292 (USA) (9 December 2011)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Orloff wrote the script back in 1998, but the project never took off at that time because of the release of the other Shakespeare-related film, Shakespeare in Love (1998). The project was then restarted back in 2005, when Roland Emmerich saw the script, but it only got the go ahead in early 2010 after additional research and revision. See more »

Goofs

The play presented on the eve of the Essex Rebellion was William Shakespeare's "Richard II", not (as portrayed in this film) "Richard III". See more »

Quotes

Ben Jonson: You are the soul of the age... Undeniable perfection that plagued my soul.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Apart from the production companies, the only opening credit is the movie's title, displayed on the marquee of the prologue's theater. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.16 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Night Of the Long Knives
Written by Byrd and Hirschfelder
Performed by David Hirschfelder
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Play By Any Other Name ...
30 October 2011 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. While it is clear that writer John Orloff and director Roland Emmerich believe that Edward De Vere, The Earl of Oxford, and not Will Shakespeare, wrote the infamous and iconic plays we have celebrated for 400 years, my advice is to watch this as a Hollywood movie and not a docu-drama. Hollywood is at its best when exaggerating, twisting and dramatizing historic events and figures.

You may be an expert on Shakespeare and even Elizabethan history, but whether you are or whether you are not, my guess is that you will find this to be interesting and thought-provoking. You may agree with the idea that Shakespeare was not the prolific and talented author, but this movie provides one possible alternative ... with no scientific proof or actual documentation. We see Rhys Ifans and Jamie Campbell Bower portray Edward De Vere as the older and younger version respectively. Both capture his passion for writing and frustration at being unable to live the life for which he was born.

Vanessa Redgrave and her real life daughter Joely Richardson portray Queen Elizabeth at the older and younger stages, and we certainly get a distinctive impression of how "the Virgin Queen" may have been mis-labeled as much as any figure in history. Many lovers and illegitimate children are mentioned and the web of secrecy would have been exhausting, given the other responsibilities of her position.

Rafe Spall portrays Will Shakespeare as what one might call The Village Idiot. The buffoonery we see from this man is an extreme that weakens the case for De Vere, rather than strengthen it. Though talented writer Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) was De Vere's first choice, the lack of morals by the illiterate actor Shakespeare allows him to seize a capitalistic opportunity and soak up the audience love.

The best part of the film is the realistic look and feel of the streets, the Globe Theater and costumes. Rhys Ifans is exceptional in the role of De Vere, and the story itself plays out much like one of Shakespeare's plays. The downside is, I believe most will find the multitude of characters and time-lines and sub-plots to be quite confusing at times. Don't take a bathroom break or you'll miss new babies being born and upheavals being planned.


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