Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis

Plays, if you remember from high school, are those things that happen onstage before a live audience—and William Shakespeare remains the undisputed king of the form. Or does he? In this Elizabethan thriller sure to ruffle some ivory-tower feathers, the lusty Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford (Ifans)—a scribe in his own right—turns out to be the true author of such future classics as Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. He also has an incestuous fling with the queen of England. Naturally. The director is Roland Emmerich (2012), who knows all about sound and fury signifying nothing.

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