Blu-ray, DVD Release: Anonymous

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Feb. 7, 2012
Price: DVD $30.99, Blu-ray $35.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

AnonymousAnyone who has done a cursory study of William Shakespeare’s writing has already heard that there’s a possibility that Shakespeare himself wasn’t the author (unless their teacher didn’t delve too deeply), and that’s exactly what drama movie Anonymous explores.

In the film, director Roland Emmerich (2012) and writer John Orloff (A Mighty Heart) put forth that it was Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who actually wrote Shakespeare’s plays (De Vere is just one of the men historians believe are behind the famous writings).

Set in Elizabethan England, the movie follows nobleman De Vere (Rhys Ifans, Greenberg), who can’t be seen writing plays for the theater, where political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for power are exposed. So De Vere hires William Shakespeare (Rafe Spall, One Day) to be the name behind the work.

Vanessa Redgrave (Letters to Juliet) and her daughter Joely Richardson (TV’s Nip/Tuck) play the older and younger Queen Elizabeth I. The cast also includes David Thewlis (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2) and Sebastian Armesto (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

Anonymous Blu-ray boxRated PG-13, Anonymous had a limited release in theaters, grossing a decent $4.5 million.

Critics generally didn’t approve of the movie, saying it’s short on facts and logic and too busy trying to make a case for De Vere as the real brain behind Shakespeare’s works instead of trying to just be a good film.

Sony’s Blu-ray and DVD continue the question behind the film with the featurette “Who Is the Real William Shakespeare?”

Both also offer deleted scenes and a commentary with Emmerich and Orloff.

The other extras on the Blu-ray are:

  • featurette “More Than Special Effects”
  • featurette “Speak the Speech”
  • extended scenes
  • Anonymous PS3 wallpaper/theme.



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About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.