"Anonymous," a political thriller which advances the controversial theory that William Shakespeare never really wrote all the work that is attributed to him, is the next featured film at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House. It will be screened on Saturday at 8 p.m. and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Opera House Cinema Series.
Set in the political snake-pit of Elizabethan England, "Anony-mous" speculates on an issue that has, for centuries, intrigued academics and brilliant minds ranging from Mark Twain and Charles Dickens to Henry James and Sigmund Freud, namely: who was the author of the plays credited to William Shakespeare? Experts have debated, books have been written, and scholars have devoted their lives to protecting or debunking theories surrounding the authorship of the most renowned works in English literature.
"Anonymous" poses one possible answer, focusing on a time when cloak-and-dagger political intrigue, illicit romances in the Royal Court, and the schemes of greedy nobles hungry for the power of the throne were exposed in the most unlikely of places the London stage.
Directed by Roland Emmerich, "Anonymous" stars Vanessa Red-grave, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richard-son and Rafe Spall.
Roger Ebert, in the Chicago Sun Times, calls the film "a splendid experience: the dialogue, the acting, the depiction of London, the lust, jealousy and intrigue."
Rex Reed, in the New York Observer, calls it "a complex cornucopia of ideas and panache." Kirk Honeycutt, in the Hollywood Reporter, calls it "director Roland Emmerich's best film."
Lisa Kennedy, in the Denver Post says, "audiences may chuckle; Stratfordians, prepare for conniptions."
Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual content, "Anonymous" runs 130 minutes.
Tickets to the Opera House Cinema Series are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students & children) the night of each screening. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 679-1891. The Series continues with "A Dangerous Method" on Feb. 18 & 21.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia.
For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.