Who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays? In this vivid drama from Roland Emmerich, mystery swirls around the authorship of classic plays, as the back-stabbing theatre world intersects with political intrigue at the court of Elizabeth I. –TIFF
Though he was raised on a steady diet of independent-minded German filmmakers like Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Wim Wenders, director Roland Emmerich aspired early in his career to make blockbuster Hollywood movies. After making a name for himself by helming “The Noah’s Ark Principle” (1981), the most expensive student film ever made in Germany, Emmerich crossed the Atlantic Ocean to make mainstream studio films. His first, “Universal Soldier” (1992), was an unexpected hit, which paved the way for him to direct his pet project, “Stargate” (1994). Along with writing and producing partner, Dean Devlin, Emmerich established himself as a resourceful sci-fi specialist who earned a reputation for meticulous preparation and remarkable cost-efficiency. Emmerich launched himself to the top of the Hollywood food chain with “Independence Day” (1996), a big, loud, sci-fi film that was long on computer-generated special effects but short on narrative and character development. Despite the campy… read more
Never bought much into theories surrounding Shakespeare’s authorship, but Emmerich and Orloff frame it in an agile fashion, so as to engage, intrigue with its scenario. A glossy production - one that suffices - the main strand weaves itself into a larger narrative containing the usual tropes: politics, machinations in the Royal houses. The balance between this and the trumpeted literary conspiracy isn’t always there, but things lasts well enough to entertain anyway, while its lucid stretches satisfy the inner history and Bard boffin respectively.
Interesting historical fiction/reimagining of the legacy/authorship of the plays of William Shakespeare. Technically a triumph with a true artistry by the craftsmen involved on display. Dramatically however a mixed bag. Rhys Ifans rises to the challenge with a career best performance but the rest of the cast seems to flounder especially a miscast Spall. Emmerich's best work since 'Moon 44'.
Roger Deakins: Film is Dead, Long Live Film.
The preeminent stealth Pop artist of big, loud Hollywood movies pretends to make a movie about Shakespeare.
Besides reviews of the films by Roland Emmerich and Ralph Fiennes, this roundup gathers all things recently Shakespearean.