27/10/2011. Contributed by Jessica Martin
Roland Emmerich (mostly) lays aside the CGI SFX and makes a movie about whether Shakespeare really wrote his works or not. It sounds dull, but in actuality, it's kind of genius.
It's also caused a little bit of a storm in the UK among the Daily Mail-reading crowd about whether this is another assault on English history of the ilk of Saving Private Ryan (where the British were airbrushed out of the D-Day landings). In this film, Roland Emmerich looks at Mister Looney's theories (you couldn't make this shit up) that the Bard wasn't the Bard, but some jobbing actor hired as a stand-in for a nobleman.
Yes, in Emmerich's movie, the works of Shakespeare were written by an Elizabethan nobleman, Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who is depicted as a literary prodigy, the Queen's illegitimate child, lover, and father of her child.
His writing, suppressed for its potentially seditious character, eventually finds a public venue through a playbroker, as rebels, whose cause de Vere supports, takes on the monarchy.
Rhys Ifans plays the true Bard and Vanessa Redgrave is the old queen (Joely Richardson takes the role as young Princess Elizabeth).
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