Wednesday, September 21, 2011

So You Don't Have To See "Anonymous"

Still torn on whether to sit through Anonymous or ignore it?  I think I've found the middle ground - check out People Being Stupid About Shakespeare...or Someone Else, the most in depth review/rebuttal of the movie I've yet seen.  The author goes through the major points of the movie (the movie, not the Oxfordian theory in general), and then questions some of the more glaringly creative omissions and additions:

...Dekker, Jonson, and a guy with a gut representing, as the IMDB informs me, Thomas Nashe. And Christopher Marlowe. In 1598. Marlowe makes fun of Dekker for the failure of Shoemaker’s Holiday and claims preeminence among historical playwrights. Which is funny, since Marlowe hadn’t written a history play in five years at that point, largely because he was murdered in 1593. And Dekker’s play wasn’t written until 1599 (a fact recorded in that famous and fraudulent monument to government conspiracy otherwise known as Henslowe’s Diary). But Marlowe’s ghost probably knows that and is just messing with Dekker’s head. Nashe also kind of hangs around for the rest of the film, even after his death in 1601...
I know it's a movie, and I know that the director certainly took many liberties.  I think the important question will be what Oxfordians do with the story.  It's not like we lovers of Shakespeare saw Shakespeare in Love and ran off to tell all of our friends, "Yes! It was *just* like that! Go see this movie and you'll know everything about Shakespeare's life!"

So the million dollar question is whether the Oxfordians will do that. Or will they take each piece that *does* support their case and say, "Yes, that bit is true," while simultaneously disowning the flat out provably incorrect bits with "Of course he changed some stuff, it's just a movie."

(* I also notice that my pal Bardfilm was the first to comment on this post, so he clearly beat me to the punch on this one. )


Sean O'Sullivan said...

Hi Duane,

Everyone can surely breathe
easy now that Anonymous is shown
to be so full of basic factual errors - perhaps we can enjoy
it for the gorgeous production values and(probable)decent acting.
Besides, having Shakespeare
murder Marlowe doesn't sound so
boring to me!
The media interest is starting:

Cass said...

I've found a triad of considerably in-depth reviews.

Part 1 (Plot):

Part 2 (Quality): -- Highlights include "if one judges it in terms of its genre, Elizabethan costume drama, then it comes in at the bottom of recent efforts; not even in the same city, let alone the same ballpark, as Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love, and a couple of cuts below Elizabeth: The Golden Age."

Part 3 (Authorship):

The summary of that author's opinion is that this movie is so bad, he somewhat suspects that Emmerich is trolling the Oxfordians. That it's so implausible, so nonsensical, and so just plain bad that it must be sabotage.

It's sounding more and more like this movie is genuinely terrible, even setting the authorship issue aside -- which is, of course, the very best thing we could hope for. ;)