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Jan Wahl Movie Review: 'Anonymous'

You can hear KCBS Entertainment Editor Jan Wahl's movie reviews on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM Fridays at 8:53am & 4:53pm.

(KCBS) – Jan Wahl reviews the period drama "Anonymous," starring Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Jamie Campbell Bower and Derek Jacobi.

Listen To Jan Wahl's Movie Review of 'Anonymous'


This is a visually rich, beautifully acted, thought-provoking movie..and a work of historical fiction. There is a theory that Shakespeare was a commoner, someone not equipped to write his wonderous and relevant plays and poetry. This long debunked theory is presented here as fact..that Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the real writer. That said, this is a rollicking good time,taking us out of our own world into the rowdy, dank London of Elizabeth the First. Rhys Ifans as de Vere is a real life reminder that great art has to come out of the artist, and there are beautiful moments of madness and genius connected. Also the sheer joy of seeing Shakespeare's initial audiences relishing those words and stories. The always excellent Vanessa Redgrave is Elizabeth in her last years,though she her ruling brilliance is reduced and sexualized. Redgraves real daughter Joely Richardson is Elizabeth in her young, lusty days. But that is only one of many examples of the fiction at work. Still, this is a movie to see and appreciate as a movie, Independence Day's director Roland Emmerich knows set pieces, casting and pacing. The plays the thing..but use this as a jumping off point to appreciate what we really know about the Bard. Three hats.

Watch On Video/DVD:

Page One: Inside The New York Times, Inside Job, Taking Woodstock, Shrek (Remastered)

See Now In Theaters:

"50/50" starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, Kevin Spacey at The Curran Theatre in "Richard III" and on "Margin Call".

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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