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Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. Anonymous poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 168
- Fresh: 78
- Rotten: 90
- Average Rating: 5.5/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: As silly as most of this is, Anonymous is undeniably a handsome picture. The costumes are gorgeous, with enough velvet and brocade to make everybody seem downright upholstered.
Fresh: File this one in the category of entertaining historical fiction. There are facts here, but one must possess more than a passing familiarity with history to be able to spot them.
Fresh: This is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene.
Rotten: Like vermin, facts here are banished / Logic dispelled, plain motives all vanished ...
A very interesting take on the Shakespearean history. While it was sometimes a little confusing to follow along on the timeline jumping, the story itself was compelling the entire time. Twist after twist keeps you going "No way!" without being wholly unbelievable. Recommend this to any avid Elizabethan time period fan!
as i read other peoples reviews of movies, i am always confused when ppl write that it is silly and stupid because it doesnt accurately follow proven or believed logical factual history. ITS A MOVIE PEOPLE! get over yourselves. its not up for a nobel peace prize or anything, its meant to entertain. and in that aspect, Anonymous achieves high marks. agreed, some of the lines of connection can sometimes be hard to follow, it is all explained in the end clearly. if you are an all action and not REAL plot moviegoer, you prob wont like this one, because you have to think while you are watching, and you have to pay attention (to most of it). some of it seems like it could never happen, and in todays society it wouldnt, but things were different back then, and lots of these kinds of things happened. in the end, this movie is interesting and enjoyable to an (at least semi) educated crowd. it definately gives shakespeare fans something to talk and debate about after the movie is over. the idea is fantastic, the tale is presented pretty well, and cinematic photography was great, in my opinion. not for those that cant sit and watch a movie and hold their questions to the end. my 15 year old daughter enjoys shakespeare, being no college scholar, and she very much enjoyed the movie. it is a thinking persons movie, and if you keep all that in mind, it is great.
History Has been Decieved
I am actually writing a paper on this topic, in favor of Edward de Vere. Very entertaining, but not totally historically correct. I thought Ben Jonson's role in the film was creative and well done.
- Genre: Drama
- Released: 2011
- © 2011 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and Beverly Blvd LLC. All Rights Reserved.