I think it’s come to the point where theories on who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays are as fun as conspiracies about secret societies or lizard people. Most (hopefully) know that we really do know Shakespeare wrote his own plays, but the thought that it was all a great trick is simply too juicy to resist.
This does not mean that any film that explores this conceit will be entertaining. The documentary, Shakespeare: The Hidden Truth, tries wholeheartedly to convince you, but all it really does is show how frustrating it is arguing with people who don’t follow the rules of rational arguments. Anonymous (2011) is as sincere as the documentary, but due to our interpretation of genres it gets away with it. I do think that both films are infinitely more enjoyable if you’re familiar enough with Shakespeare to understand that this is an exercise in “what if” and not “the true story behind the myth.”
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