21st Century
The Future
World Travel
Books & Film
Original Fiction
Opinion & Lifestyle
Politics & Living
Film Space
Movies in depth
Kid's Books
Reviews & stories
Dreamscapes Two
More Original Fiction



The International Writers Magazine:Film

Anonymous (2011)
Director: Roland Emmerich
Writer: John Orloff
Stars: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave and David Thewlis
Paul Valentine
As expected, a worthy number of the great and the good, albeit not wholly intelligent men of letters, have responded to this film with ‘tags’ ranging from ‘utterly outrageous’, to ‘preposterous’. More fool them. Indeed, I take both mirth and a letter out of their books by not naming them; and why on earth should I? If this film were a documentary of academic research, they might have a point. But methinks they protest too much and it is without doubt that Roland Emmerich has the last laugh.


It is a film. Nobody to my knowledge complained about the stuff of Hogwarts being a bit far-fetched, or that ‘Inception’ was not actually possible. Not only that, but it is an excellent film. Given that since the demise of Library of Alexandria, it is unique that any Bard of repute would write some forty plays half a dozen poems, over one hundred and fifty sonnets, and nothing else; not even a shopping list, is more than enough rationale to attempt to reconstruct the sordid world of the Tudors. Of course just about every hack bar the Daily Telegraph is both outraged and indignant, which rather leads me to the view that their position has more to do cricket and warm beer than reality stakes. Yes, I found the Telegraph being on the money a bit strange too, but Robbie Collin is rarely short of a bob or two.

The screenplay for me is balanced; the cringe moments generally equalling purple bits that are generally shared between Rhys Ifans as the compelling Earl of Oxford and Venessa Redgrave as the stalwart and sometimes whimsical Elizabeth. Other pluses for me are the brooding Ben Johnson and Will himself as the dapper actor he probably certainly was.

Anon But for me, the undoubted arena that makes this both an entertaining and mind provoking film is the direction. From the first, Emmerich uses Shakespeare’s own device of a play within a play to set the scene, thus avoiding the interminable lesson in Tudor history we would have no doubt received from most other directors.
The structure of the film is also excellent, allowing the plot to unfold with pace and direction. And last, but by no means least, and worth the ticket money alone, are the fabulous cgi effects showing London in all its Tudor glory.

I doubt there will be many English fieldtrips to see this film, which is a great pity, and underpins to me the very worst of the silly immature conservative  reviews; for this would be the archetypal film to use in order to trigger exactly what is history (not the same as what history is), to also give a real insight into the Tudor world, but also to observe the craft of filmmaking at its very best.

© Paul Valentine Nov 10th 2011

Share |
More reviews


© Hackwriters 1999-2011 all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibility - no liability accepted by or affiliates.