Never before has a “Shakespearean” movie been this lousy. Rafe Spall plays the bard as a bumpkin, virtually illiterate, but the dim actors think he created the great plays scripted in secret by the haughty snob Edward, 17th Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans, desperate to hold on to some dignity). This pile from the master defecator of lavish nonsense Roland Emmerich wastes Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter Joely Richardson as Queen Elizabeth (old and young), offers the plays as slices of pickled ham, and makes a moron’s case for Oxford as author. The love scenes, crowned by royal fellatio, are hilariously awful. But, hey, swell costumes. 2011.

0.0 stars

— David Elliott

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