Could William Shakespeare have possibly written so much world-changing drama in just a quarter-century? That question is at the heart of the conspiracies questioning the authorship of the greatest vault in literature. Anonymous tackles one of the lesser legends, that the works of Shakespeare were actually penned by a member of English royalty named Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans), who could not release the plays under his own name for political reasons. The film pushes the theory aggressively and wrangles some juicy soap-opera subplots involving Queen Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) and bastard children. Ifans is the best he’s ever been, but the real powerhouse is Edward Hogg as a scheming adviser to the queen. Somehow, this tightly spun costume thriller is directed by Roland Emmerich (2012); Shakespeare himself would have had trouble writing such incredible irony.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Producer: Roland Emmerich, Larry Franco, Robert Leger, Volker Engel, Marc Weigert and John Orloff
Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Sebastian Reid, Jamie Bower, Derek Jacobi, Trystan Gravelle, Helen Baxendale, Mark Rylance, Paolo De Vita, Robert Emms, Tony Way and Julian Bleach