What if anything to say about ANONYMOUS? I can say that I enjoyed it well enough without thinking it great. That although a legitimate argument can be made for Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, as the author of the plays that are called Shakespeare’s, the film does not make anything like one and muffs numerous opportunities to do so. That what might be acceptable literary license were the case for Oxford generally agreed to does active disservice to it given the actual state of affairs. That it interests me that, unlike Shakespeare in Love and Miguel and William, which are pastiches of the traditional biography, this alternative pastiche is tragic rather than comic. That it is interesting to recall that each of those traditional pastiches also posited alternative authorship of a sort, with young Will swiping plots and cribbing lines from just about everybody. But that I am tired of Oxford’s advocates leading with the notion that a provincial bourgeois of questionable education couldn’t possibly have written such fine works when there are far more persuasive ways to make the case that he may not have, and hence, that I found the unflattering portrayal of Will the actor to be grating and counterproductive. That, yes, as I said, I did enjoy it well enough despite all that, with its fine dreary atmosphere of overcast skies and perpetual intrigue. So take it for what you will, but to the question it asks it supplies no answers.

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