Pin It

Both Anonymous and forgettable 

Historical drama hardly Shakespearean

The Day After Tomorrow director Roland Emmerich's Anonymous is a melodramatic exploration into William Shakespeare’s true identity. It opens and closes as a modern play and in between we travel to Shakespeare’s time and then jump chaotically within a 45-year period. The gist of the spiraling plot is simple: the Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans) pens the plays ---a taboo hobby for a man of his status---and consigns struggling playwright Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) to stage them; an illiterate actor named William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall) claims the fame. It’s hard to care about the romance, incest and complicated fight for Queen Elizabeth I’s (Vanessa Redgrave with blackened teeth) throne. The popular conspiracy theory (Shakespeare was an anonymous nobleman) could make an interesting film. But, for a movie about words, the script staggers and Emmerich’s direction is far from poetic.
Rated PG-13 (MPAA) · 130 min. · 2011
Official Site:
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Cast: Xavier Samuel, Rhys Ifans, Jamie Campbell Bower, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis, Joely Richardson, Rafe Spall, Derek Jacobi, Tom Wlaschiha and Edward Hogg

Now Playing

Anonymous is not showing in any theaters in the area.

What others are saying

  • Support The Coast

    At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

    Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

    Pin It


    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    More by Molly Segal

    Get more Halifax

    Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

    Coast Top Ten

    © 2021 Coast Publishing Ltd.