Legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott has hit out at French critics of his latest film, Napoleon, declaring: “The French don’t even like each other.”
Ridley Scott’s biopic about the 19th-century French emperor stars Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon and charts the world-famous leader’s rise to power as well as his relationship with Empress Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby.
IGN’s Napoléon review returned a score of 7/10. We said: “Ridley Scott returns to the old world battlefields and feudal intrigues of his Oscar-winning Gladiator with a decades-spanning biopic of the French tactician who conquered half of Europe. As a historical epic, Napoleon is beautiful but a little impersonal – you can really feel the lack of lost texture as you breeze through it in less than three hours. But between the bullet points in the manual, a very funny anti-Great Man biopic emerges, thanks in large part to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as a Bonaparte who is more boy than man.
French reviews were less positive. The newspaper Le Figaro believes that the film should be renamed “Barbie and Ken under the Empire”. Napoleon’s biographer, Patrice Gueniffey, wrote in Le Point magazine that Napoleon is a “very anti-French and very pro-British” rewriting of history.
In a BBC interview, Scott responded to these criticisms by stating: “The French don’t even like each other. The audience I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.”
Scott, 85, appears to be in particularly aggressive mode to promote Napoleon, with a number of catchy quotes making headlines.
In a recent interview with The temperature, Scott, who directed classics like Gladiator, Blade Runner and Alien, dismissed those who criticized Napoleon’s historical accuracy. “Like all history, it was reported. Napoleon dies, then, 10 years later, someone writes a book. Then someone takes that book and writes another one and so, 400 years later, he There’s a lot of imagination (in history books),” Scott says. “When I have problems with historians, I ask, ‘Excuse me, buddy, were you there? No? Well, shut up then.’ “
In a scene whose historical accuracy some have questioned, Napoleon fires a cannon at the great pyramids of Egypt. “I don’t know if he did that, but it was a quick way of saying he took Egypt,” Scott told the Sunday Times.
Asked by The New Yorker what he thought about the drama’s historical inaccuracies being reported online, Scott urged the critics in question to “get a life.”
Ridley Scott on Joaquin Phoenix’s Napoleon standing in front of an olive garden in ‘NAPOLEON’:
“I don’t know if it happened, but I know Napoleon went to Italy. It’s symbolism. Kiss my ass.
– DisbussinFilm (@DisbussingFilm) November 19, 2023
Scott is quickly becoming a meme for his matter-of-fact one-liners, and the internet is certainly having fun.
In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Joaquin Phoenix called Napoleon “an experience told through Ridley’s eyes,” adding, “If you really want to understand Napoleon, then you should probably study and read it yourself.” »
Wesley is the UK news editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at email@example.com or confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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