This week: misguided Oxfordians, Marxist action movies, and the joy of kicking a particularly obnoxious dead horse.
- I don’t believe in using biography as literary analysis, so silly conspiracy theories about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works have never really interested me, which is why I love Ron Rosenbaum’s exasperated take on Anonymous, the bizarre new movie promoting the oft-debunked idea that the Earl of Oxford wrote the plays.
- Speaking of Shakespeare, the news that Joss Whedon—creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and, most recently, Dollhouse—has filmed a modern-day version of Much Ado About Nothing is weird but intriguing. After all, facility with language has always been one of Whedon’s greatest strengths.
- I have no strong feelings about Zooey Deschanel’s musical stylings, but I agree with the sentiment behind Jason Heid’s heartfelt defense of her straightforward performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” (Via Andrew Sullivan.)
- The bad buzz on In Time is disappointing (I have a soft spot for writer-director Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca), but the time-is-literally-money premise is still incredibly intriguing. The politically charged reviews of Alyssa Rosenberg and Jamelle Bouie explore some of the movie’s surprisingly provocative yet squandered ideas.
- Nathan Rabin of AV Club doesn’t have a particularly great reason for revisiting the self-important inanity of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but I, for one, never get bored with making fun on Sorkin’s misbegotten, masturbatory fiasco, and Rabin writes a cheerfully thorough, amusing take-down.