Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Helen Baxendale, Jamie Campbell, Antje Thiele, Robert Emms, Tony Way, Trystan Gravelle, Sebastian Reid, John Keogh, Sir Derek Jacobi and Amy Kwolek.
The first time i saw the trailer for this movie, i was shocked to find out that the director of bad disaster movies is directing a costume drama and moreover on such a false and ridiculous theory that Shakespeare never wrote any of his plays by himself. This is a very fictional and pseudo-historical drama with superb visuals using the latest VFX technology to create the marvelous exteriors of that Shakespearean/Elizabethan era and some superb costume designing work. I would really spare you with the details of the plot because trust me, that is truly messed up but just a basic idea of this movie. Rhys Ifans plays Edward de Vere who was the 17th Earl of Oxford and a playwright, poet, an art lover and among the Elizabethan court, he also was a lover of Elizabeth in their young times and they have a son too who himself is a Earl of someplace. This movie tells us that he was the real author of the plays of Shakespeare and performs it through someone whose name is Shakespeare and through the production of Richard II he supports a rebellion that also involves his son. That plans fails and in order to spare the life of his son, Queen orders to remove his name from the plays and literary work. This movie falls flat on every level, being the director's imagination, the basic idea, the plot, the narrative or the whole controversy or the conspiracy theory. I am not against re imagining or revisiting history in some twisted way but Roland doesn't truly convinces you of his half baked theory.
Roland Emmerich tries to shove these idiotic ideas in your brain, eyes and everywhere else in such a way that everything becomes quite unconvincing and too phony. The idea and the ways characters are presented here itself is a travesty and a shameful insult to those British literature genius intellectuals. The productions in quite lavishing and big, the immense use of visual effects to create the big sets of that time and the London with these wide shots from far above and overall ways of Emmerich to present us this story of his really adds up a lot to the already unconvincing rubbish. De Verve is a character presented in a very good way and played quite movingly and deeply by Rhys Ifans as a human being who feels an honor and responsibility to play his part in the world of art and literature even though it is considered a tabu and even ungodly by the society and people around him. Queen Elizabeth is presented in a very shameful way and you might get puzzled in keeping track of the affairs and children she has. The old queen is played with much more convincing and truly affectionate way by the ever wonderful actress Vanessa Redgrave. She adds a true sensitivity to the part where in the story she is presented as a somewhat of a dark force by Redgrave tries find the light in her.
The biggest problem i had with Anonymous was the immensely poor narrative style, the movie jumps in such idiotic way over times it becomes far more less convincing than it already is. I mean the writer makes it a overdone pathetic blotted mess and it makes the story far more complicated and insanely difficult to follow. The art direction and specially costume design in this movie is superb, that i loved. Overall this movie is quite shallow, empty and very dry. The fantasy it tries to create, never truly does and fails to achieve the goals the filmmaker set. This movie is a downright bore and dull and i found myself exhausted, sleeping and begging for it to end. I would love to watch Emmerich's bad disaster movies over this one and i would appreciate Emmerich not to try anything like this ever again or not mess up with history just like he messes up with everything else.