Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
For his latest film, Anonymous, Roland Emmerich departs from his established world-busting pattern…or does he? While the film doesn’t feature scenes of overt global destruction as per 2012 and Independence Day, the movie does seek to drop a bomb on the literary world by taking seriously the conspiracy theory that says the works of William Shakespeare were in fact penned by someone else.
The cast is quite good (Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower and Derek Jacobi) and now you can get a taste of how this particular dramatic experiment plays out by checking out the trailer below.
Frankly, with the portentous opening and wildly over-dramatic feel of the trailer, this presentation plays out in rather silly fashion. And yet I can’t get over that cast — there are some wonderful actors here, and I hope that even among all the ropey CGI, slow motion and mad palace intrigue, some good moments might be hiding. The trailer is pretty evidently cut to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. That is, an audience that probably wouldn’t typically be much interested in a Shakespeare movie — so definitely withhold judgment until we get a better look at the movie.
And, yes, that’s ‘Everything in it’s Right Place,’ the opening track to Radiohead’s 2000 record Kid A, providing the soundtrack to most of the trailer. Turns out to be a great choice, but it is an eerily powerful song, so give the credit to Radiohead rather than Roland Emmerich.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, the September 30 release 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.