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Anonymous [DVD] [2011]


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Product details

  • Actors: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel
  • Directors: Roland Emmerich
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Hindi, Italian, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Italian, Catalan, Spanish
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar. 2012
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00592CZXE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,324 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, ANONYMOUS speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds... who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? 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 were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.

From Amazon.co.uk

Historical romp Anonymous takes an academic controversy (did the man named Shakespeare write the plays attributed to him?) and whips it into a lurid melodrama, crammed with political intrigue, heaving bosoms, flashing swordplay, conspiracies, forced marriage, incest, and more. Towards the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans, Enduring Love), seeks an outlet for his poetic drive: he tries to get the playwright Ben Jonson (Sebastian Armesto) to present his plays as Jonson's own. Jonson is reluctant to undercut his own work… but his friend, a vainglorious illiterate actor by the name of William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall), happily claims the glory when Oxford's plays prove hugely popular. But the real story of Anonymous isn't about authorship, it's about machinations to capture the throne of England when Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave) dies. Wily counselors vie with dashing secret heirs, royal dallying leads to shocking secrets, and supposedly the plays are inextricably caught up in it all--except that they're not, really, and so Anonymous, for all its clever plotting and lush production values, falls flat by the end. Still, it's an enjoyable confection up to then, and showcases some lovely (if woefully historically inaccurate--the mosh-pit moment is delightfully preposterous) presentations of bits of the plays. Also featuring David Thewlis (Naked) and Joely Richardson, daughter of Ms. Redgrave, playing the younger Elizabeth. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By anne mcgrath on 6 Dec. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I love history - and I love historical dramas that are well done. This proved to be a visually evocative film with an interesting slant to the commonly held belief that Shakespeare was a literary genius. Very thought provoking and well told but I find it really hard to shake off the conviction Shakespeare, whilst he probably was a bit of a rogue (I think you had to be to be able to survive in those times unless you were born with a silver spoon) was not the creator of some of the most wonderful prose and poetry in the English language. Just because a person is poor and marginally educated, it does not mean that they are not blessed with intelligence and wit. The film fell just short of the 'wow' factor - but only just.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Mar. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
A German filmmaker (famous for special effects extravaganzas) messing with the status of the godlike British playwright William Shakespeare is bound to produce hissy fits amongst historians, be labelled abomination by academics and booed off the screen by snarling patrons. And yet...

I saw knob to all the naysayers. Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous" which re-writes the bard's life is a fantastically well-made and well-written film - and while it isn't as crowd-pleasing as say "Shakespeare In Love" - it's just as good and even more sumptuous to look at. And it puts forward ideas that are not just tempting but frighteningly believable. First some facts about this astounding giant of literature...

Born the son of cobbler in April 1564 in Stratford-Upon-Avon in England, William Shakespeare became an actor first - then a playwright. He died in 1616 aged 52 survived by a wife and two daughters. His written works are the most performed in history - 38 plays, 154 sonnets and some other poems. "We happy few...we band of brothers..." and "to thine own self be true..." - are just some of the phrases that pepper the very fabric of how we speak and think. Shakespeare quotes are second only to The Bible. And yet in 400 years there isn't a single page or document in his handwriting and there are said to be only two images of him - one of which is disputed. This leaves the most revered writers in the known Universe open to 'interpretation'.

Enter Roland Emmerich and his writer John Orloff. They purport that a moneyed aristocrat the 17th Earl Of Oxford Edward De Vere (played brilliantly by Rhys Ifans) was in fact the real author - and the actor William Shakespeare was just an opportunist who stepped up as 'author' on the night "Henry The 5th" was played for the first time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Naj on 7 Feb. 2015
Format: DVD
Totally enjoyable. I had heard lots of negative comments about this film and yes, there are historical inaccuracies (as a lot of long winded reviewers like to point out) and some nonsense, but it's a good story, beautifully filmed and well acted by some. There were some wooden portrayals but they were mainly the bit-part actors (a prison guard comes to mind) the rest of the cast are great and the theatre scenes brilliantly played, especially Henry V. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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64 of 79 people found the following review helpful By L. Power TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: DVD
I always accepted the idea that Shakespeare wrote his own plays, and considered anything to the contrary to be merely speculation not fact. So, the premise-what if Shakespeare never wrote a word, I found not to be appealing.

Upon reading some good reviews, I decided to see it, and found it to be a high quality production and a wonderful experience. Director Roland Emmerich previously directed 2012, and Independence Day, and writer John Orloff previously wrote some episodes of Band of Brothers, and as you watch this movie you will realise this term BoB originated with Shakespeare.

Anonymous proposes the Earl of Oxford wrote all the plays, anonymously donated them to Ben Johnson, a well known writer of the time for him to take credit. Then an uncouth illiterate actor, named Shakespeare steps in to claim the credit. The peer remained anonymous for reasons of social acceptability.

Another reason he may have remained anonymous which I totally loved was the parallel structure between what happened in the plays, and the real life events of the courtiers and Queen Elizabeth. Cecil, the courtier villain in this movie is a hunchback (historical fact), and brother in law of the Earl of Oxford. Richard 3 in Shakespeare's play is a hunchback, so the play becomes a social satire.

A scene where a man is stabbed through a curtain mirrors a scene in Hamlet. A usurped heir is sent to Ireland, and there is a plot to kill him, similar to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet.

Emmerich's direction gives Anonymous a much grander scope.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniella on 7 Oct. 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Brilliant, amazing, intriguing, I was spellbound need I say more!!
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26 of 33 people found the following review helpful By L. Davidson VINE VOICE on 1 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
"Anonymous" is an absorbing , intelligent film based on a conspiracy theory that argues that the real author of the William Shakespeare plays was really an aristocrat with close relations to Queen Elizabeth the First. The film tells the story of how the aristocrat,Edward De Vere ,Earl of Oxford used Shakespeare as a front man to stage the plays that he wrote,but which for various reasons he couldn't claim authorship of. Shakespeare is portrayed in the film as an unscrupulous buffoon,extortionist and murderer. "Anonymous" portrays this story against a background of intrigue and backbiting at the Elizabethan court as the race to succeed the childless Elizabeth hots up.Childless is perhaps not the word however ,as the aristocracy appears to be riddled with her bastard sons. The film intermingles the story of De Vere and his plays with court scheming very well although the use of flashbacks made the film a little hard to follow and ascertaining the lineage of some of the main characters was fraught with complexity. That said , "Anonymous" was an entertaining film ,but how much truth there is in the tale remains open to question.
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