At its core, John le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy isn't really about espionage, says critic John Powers. The 1974 novel, adapted for the screen in 1979 by the BBC, is actually about secrets and lies and shifting identities — which is to say, a metaphor for our own daily lives.
Could Shakespeare have been in love if he didn't even exist? Director Roland Emmerich's Elizabethan-era costume drama turns a cockamamie idea about the Bard's "real" identity into a ridiculous but handsome thriller.
The lives of writers drive two films opening this week: The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp, dramatizes a Hunter S. Thompson novel. Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, meanwhile, examines who wrote Shakespeare's plays. Critic David Edelstein says both films show how hard it is to write about writers.
An oft-debunked notion about the authorship of Hamlet, Macbeth and the rest is at the core of a new political thriller from director Roland Emmerich. Screenwriter John Orloff tells Renee Montagne that he's less interested in historical fact than in dramatizing "the process of creativity."
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