Anonymous | Chicago Reader


Rated PG-13 130 minutes 2011

Queen Elizabeth has hot sex on the throne and William Shakespeare crowd-surfs at the curtain call for Hamlet in this period piece from disaster-movie maestro Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow). The film dramatizes the theory that Shakespeare's plays were in fact written by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford; this argument has had sympathizers ranging from Orson Welles to Justice John Paul Stevens, though Emmerich's overblown approach is unlikely to inspire any new converts. Still, this is irresistible as self-knowing camp: the players ham it up in high fashion and the script crams at least one lurid revelation into every scene. There's even a flashback within a flashback within a flashback, a stunt rarely attempted since John Brahm's cult classic The Locket (1946). With Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, and David Thewlis.

Film Credits

Director: Roland Emmerich

Producer: Roland Emmerich, Larry Franco, Robert Leger, Volker Engel, Marc Weigert and John Orloff

Cast: Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, David Thewlis, Xavier Samuel, Sebastian Armesto, Rafe Spall, Edward Hogg, Sebastian Reid, Jamie Bower, Derek Jacobi, Trystan Gravelle, Helen Baxendale, Mark Rylance, Paolo De Vita, Robert Emms, Tony Way and Julian Bleach

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