|Anonymous: The Film|
|Rhys Ifans as the Earl of Oxford who in my opinion did NOT author any Shakespearean texts|
As I was researching this post in anticipation of the release of "Anonymous" in a few weeks' time, I was actually sucked in just for a moment. Just a brief moment. And then I shook my head and did some more research and I am now quite convinced that although this might make a good story, it is a work of fiction. That is a polite way of saying that this film is a bunch of bunk. But that is OK, as long as it is made clear to viewers that this is truly fiction/bunk and we should watch it for entertainment and not information.
|Sam Reid as the Earl of Essex in Anonymous|
I do not claim to be an English scholar, but I have now read enough to believe that there are enough contemporary accounts referencing William Shakespeare of Stratford as the author of these plays and sonnets, to discount all of the so called evidence to the contrary. Furthermore, as an educated Canadian woman who is descended from English coal miners and cotton mill workers and shoemakers, some of whom were in the workhouse during the 19th century, I find the idea that only a highly educated member of the aristocracy could have written Shakespeare's prose and poetry offensive. Poppycock and twaddle I say!
|Joely Richardson as young Queen Elizabeth and Jamie Campbell Bower as young Oxford|
However, as someone who adores the film Shakespeare in Love, which never purports to be anything but fiction, I am open to seeing this film and hopefully enjoying it as an Elizabethan political thriller. There are certainly a fine collection of actors in this (Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Rafe Spall, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis et al). There are also a lot of fab costumes. And I am a total sucker for a CGI flyover of the Thames in any century that isn't the 21st!
|Vanessa Redgrave as the apparently not so virginal Queen Elizabeth|
So bring on the intrigue, incest and incredible distortion of the facts. I just want the eye candy!
What do you think? Shakespeare or the Earl of Oxford? See the film or pass on it? Let me know what you think.