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Anonymous (I) (2011)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 28,906 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 124 user | 277 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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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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:

Anonymous  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$4,463,292 (USA) (9 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Roland Emmerich self-financed the entire movie. The past financial earnings of his previous movies allowed him the money and total control of the film without studio interference. See more »

Goofs

Christopher Marlowe is alive in 1598; he died in 1593. See more »

Quotes

Ben Jonson: Politics? My play has nothing to do with politics. I-i-i-it's just a simple comedy.
Earl of Oxford: It showed your betters as fools who'd go through life barely managing to get food from plate to mouth were it not for the cleverness of their servants. All art is political, Jonson, otherwise it would just be decoration. And all artists have something to say, otherwise they'd make shoes. And you are not a cobbler, are you Jonson.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in CliffsNotes Films (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

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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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