The most troubling thing about “Anonymous” is not that it turns Shakespeare into an illiterate money-grubber. It’s not even that England’s virgin Queen Elizabeth is turned into a wantonly promiscuous woman who is revealed to be both the lover and mother of de Vere. Rather, it’s that in making the case for de Vere, the film turns great plays into propaganda. …

De Vere is clear in the film about his objectives: “all art is political … otherwise it is just decoration.” Sony Pictures’ study guide is keen to reinforce this reductive view of what the plays are about, encouraging students to search Shakespeare’s works for “messages that may have been included as propaganda and considered seditious.” …

By bringing this unsubstantiated version of history to the screen, a lot of facts — theatrical and political — are trampled. Supporters of de Vere’s candidacy who have awaited this film with excitement may come to regret it, for “Anonymous” shows, quite devastatingly, how high a price they must pay to unseat Shakespeare. Why anyone is drawn to de Vere’s cause is the real mystery, one not so easily solved as who was the true author of Shakespeare’s plays.

Hollywood Dishonors the Bard – NYTimes.com

Breaking news: There are no limits to human credulity or our ingenuity to doctor and/or ignore evidence.