Film

My Bodice, She Rips!

A Revisionist History of Shakespeare from the Director of Independence Day

My Bodice, She Rips!

ANONYMOUS In which a would-be Shakespeare surfs a mosh pit.

Look, Anonymous is a movie about Shakespeare from the director of Independence Day—you already know what you're getting. It's a not-terrible version of what you already know you're getting: a fiery period piece that will inspire liberal use of the word "bodice-ripper" in reviews. And to its credit, it's not that bloated. Every minute the camera rests on the face of Welsh actor Rhys Ifans, starring as the Earl of Oxford/the "real" author of Shakespeare's works, is worth watching. Ifans is outfitted with very significant streaks of eye makeup. They make him look sadder, smarter, and, unintentionally, like a drag queen. De-lightful. Too bad it's unintentional. If Anonymous had cast the writer of Shakespeare's plays and poems as a transsexual—well, then we'd have a movie.

It's simply best not to think too hard about Anonymous, but the movie peskily keeps trying to be thoughtful. (The credits roll on a view of theater seats just like ours; see?!) It has two main themes: the identity of Shakespeare, and the separation of art and state. For context: Anonymous sides with a bunch of 20th-century Shakespeare fans known as the Oxfordians, who believe that Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, is the real author of William Shakespeare's writings—finding them too sophisticated, worldly, and all-out unfuckingbelievable to have sprung from the mind of history's most famous glove-maker's son. Most scholars completely dismiss this, but Anonymous presents it as pure truth, as though it were being kept from you by government agents. The attempt to make all ends meet turns the movie into babbling soap operism in the final twist. Plus: The great Elizabeth comes off as little more than a regular old monarch with a liking for poetry. (This means that both Vanessa Redgrave and Joely Richardson, as the older and younger queen, respectively, are wasted.)

Then again, there are Shakespeare's words and stories, scenes from when theater was a muddy business, viciousness and scheming brought to historic levels, swordfights in mazes, a hunchback and a bad old guy with a terrible cake-makeup job, and the inevitable whispering of juicy secrets during those switcheroo court dances. I'll take it over some kind of Matthew McConaughey situation anytime. recommended

PSST! Check out The Stranger's New and Improved THINGS TO DO calendar.
It has a complete calendar of what's happening in Seattle's Film Scene.
 

Comments (2) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Many thanks to Jen Jen for this wonderful review of such a crapola conspiracy theory film.

How we erudite types tire of this endless tedious dredging up of this nonsense ever thirty or forty years.

Oh no, they prattle, Shakespeare couldn't possibly have written those plays and stories, it must have been one of those inbred, whacked out royals (I am exempting the Queen of Norway from this dicussion as she is one of the world's most hottest women).

Like, nobody alive is familiar with Monaco's royal family? Geez, like it's a miracle anyone of them can get up in the morning!

Like, the royals of the UK are a bunch of winners?

And oh yeah, about those Saudi royals.....like they deserve even a speck of mention?

No, this was a great review of pure bunkem, but somebody had to do it.

Once again Jen Jen demonstrates why she is my favorite young piece of stringy meat.

Or should that be: my favorite piece of young stringy meat?

Or perhaps that should be: my favorite piece of stringy young meat?

Or maybe my favorite......
Posted by sgt_doom on October 26, 2011 at 4:25 PM · Report this
2
I'm certain that only one commenter here is no reflection on Ms. Graves' wonderful review, simply that the movie was a bunch of hooey (this might be a far more sophisticated term than many Stranter commenters can handle).

But take the example below of Prince Charles:

http://craphound.com/images/4622669364_f…

This guy's a royal with a royal's allowance, but just take a gander at his humongous frigging eyebrows.

Can't the dood afford a pair of tweezers, or small scissors, or have his wife pluck them for him??

WTF, already.....
Posted by sgt_doom on October 31, 2011 at 11:35 AM · Report this

Add a comment