Anonymous, opening on October 28th, is a political thriller advancing 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. The film stars Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and David Thewlis.

Shakespearean conspiracy theories have been around for centuries and the film does not seek to advance one or the other, but rather it presents the facts and leaves it to the viewer to make up their on mind on the subject. The sets are gorgeous, the acting isn’t half bad and the costumes are as authentic as costume designer lisy Christl could make them.  Christl boiled, shrank, then dyed and painted the fabrics to transform them into director Roland Emmerich’s desired look for the authentic atmosphere of the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England and the movie’s picture style with low light that comes from candles and fireplaces.

“With the new developments in digital cinematography, we could really take advantage of candlelight and firelight,” says Director of Photography Anna Foerster. “For a period piece, using available light – candles, fireplaces, whatever comes in from outside – makes it real.” Together with Emmerich, she developed the look of the film from the paintings of Johannes Vermeer and Georges de La Tour. “Vermeer uses the soft, diffused daylight that comes in through windows; de La Tour would have a single source of light, a candle or a torch.”

Actress Joely Richardson in the role of Princess Elisabeth Tudor, later Queen Elizabeth I.

Visit the film’s official site here, where you can watch a trailer, as well as design your own coat of arms. A review of the film can be found at here at ScreenCrave.

2 thoughts on “Anonymous”

  1. The idea that Shakespeare did not write the plays and poems attributed to him is an artifact of the British Class System. "No commoner could have written those brilliant plays" "He was only educated at a local grammar school." Well. those brilliant people educated at local schools can do wonderful things. Benjamin Franklin, one of ten poor children educated only 2 years, and at an English School, not a Latin School became a great writer, politician and diplomat. He educated himself by reading. General Henry Knox went to Latin School for one year when he was 8. He educated himself by reading, and taught himself the calculus, then became the greatest artillery general of the American Revolution. Shakespeare was the exceptional genius who escaped from the horrid English class system, where no poor child can move up in the world. Those who refuse to believe in Shakesspeare's Genius should be ashamed of themselves. BTW the movie does attribute all of Shakespeare's work to the Earl of Oxford. No one should see the movie – it's a pack of lies.

  2. I've always found it fascinating when people try to rewrite history or when they question history. Either endeavor produces interesting results, biased by the hypothesis of the person who comes up with the idea, but interesting nonetheless.

    Then again, something so beautiful everyone wants to lay claim to it is worthy of respect in and of itself.

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