Anonymous (2012)

After a theatrical prologue delivered by Derek Jacobi, the film opens with Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, ordering a desperate search for a trove of manuscripts. Ben Jonson, who has the manuscripts, hides them in the Globe theatre, but it is burned down while being searched. Successive flashbacks cast us back five and then forty years, as the film evokes the reputed life of Edward de Vere from childhood through to his entanglement in an insurrection, and later on to his death. The main action takes place towards the end of the Elizabethan era as political intrigue flourishes between the Tudors and the Cecils (father William and son Robert), over the succession to Queen Elizabeth I. In flashbacks, de Vere is portrayed as a prodigious genius, writing at eight or nine years of age (1558/1559) A Midsummer Night's Dream, de Vere acting the role of Puck before the young queen Elizabeth. He is then forced to live in the repressive, puritanical house of William Cecil where, years later, he kills a spying servant lurking behind an arras, much like the death of Polonius in Hamlet. William Cecil uses this murder to blackmail de Vere into a loveless marriage with his daughter, Anne Cecil, compelling him also to renounce literature. De Vere later becomes the Queen's lover, and sires - unknown to him - an illegimate son; the son is adopted, becoming Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, but his true parentage is hidden from all but the Cecils.

English, Mandarin
DVD
Thriller, Drama
2 hr 10 min
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