Anonymous (2011)

A political thriller about who actually wrote the plays of William Shakespeare - Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford - set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I, and the Essex Rebellion against her.

Rhys Ifans (Edward De Vere)
Vanessa Redgrave (Queen Elizabeth I)
Joely Richardson (Queen Elizabeth I, younger version)
David Thewlis (William Cecil)
Rafe Spall (Shakespeare)
Jamie Campbell-Bower (young De Vere)
Derek Jacobi (narrator of prologue)

Directed by Roland Emmerich

From Rope of Silicon:
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, Anonymous speculates on an issue that has for centuries intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature. 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 of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places: the London stage.

Vanessa Redgrave as Elizabeth I

Joely Richardson and Jamie Campbell-Bower
(young Elizabeth and young De Vere)

Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Roland Emmerich, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis
Photo: Zimbio

Rafe Spall and Rhys Ifans at press conference,
with Rhys' comments getting a laugh from the rest of the cast...

(16 short videos from press conference... you can cycle through or view on Youtube)

David Thewlis:"Some rather extreme things happen and some extreme claims are made but nobody can say it didn't happen which I think is the nice thing about it."


  1. How exactly is the younger version played by Joely Richardson's mother? What I also don't understand is how Joely can play Princess Elizabeth when Elizabeth became Queen at 25. Joely does not look 25 or under. Also, if we're being politically correct she was not Princess but Lady Elizabeth. Deemed illegitimate and never got her title back -- her sister was the same way. Just wondering.. have any other news about it because no one seems to know any more.. do those videos explain anything?

  2. Not sure! I just copied the character's names as listed on IMDb and I didn't have time to watch all the videos but enjoyed the couple vids that I did see!

  3. I can't wait to see this film. It looks to be amazing! I never would have guessed that Rhys Ifans could look so broodingly handsome. He is a gifted comic actor -- this is the first dramatic (leading) role I have seen him in. (I didn't even recognize him as Luna Lovegood's father in Harry Potter.) It's nice to see such a talented characted actor in a big role!
    Excellent video clips too. I watched them all.
    @Lady Meg -- Joely Richardson compliments the hair and makeup people for making her look so much younger to play the young Elizabeth. I love Rhys Ifan's remarks -- he really is very humourous in real life too!
    Thanks again for alerting me to such a wonderful new movie!

  4. typo: character actor (replaced the d for the r) Sorry!

  5. @phylly3
    I've come to appreciate Rhys Ifans more too! Not just the annoying roommate from Notting Hill! :)

  6. @Lady Meg

    Sorry, I see now the confusion with the way that I worded the description. Joely plays the younger version of Elizabeth I, with the queen in her later years played by her mom...



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