The theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare's plays. Set against the backdrop of the succession of Queen Elizabeth I and the Essex rebellion against her. [imdb]
Nominated for 1 Oscar:
Best Costume Design
This is a film that starts with plenty of potential, but quickly becomes too complicated for its own good, with a screenplay that would be a match to any juicy soap opera. While I can accept the main idea of the film: Shakespeare didn't write all those plays, the film really loses me when it portrays him as a complete moron. Just the same: I can accept changing small historical facts about the Earl of Oxford's story to fit the context, but the conclusion of his story is simply ridiculous (I don't wanna spoil it).
I am a bit surprised by the Costume Design nomination: there are plenty of costumes, but none that really stands out to me; for sure they could've found worthier films to score in this category. On the other hand, the one pleasant surprise was Rhys Ifans' dynamic performance: he has great presence, but also handles well the more dramatic scenes.
My rating for the film: 5/10. Vanessa Redgrave is ok as an old Elizabeth, but Joely Richardson is not so convincing, playing the younger part.