Filmmaker Ridley Scott is known for being very direct in his interviews and, in an interview with the BBC, he made a controversial statement about French critics who were unhappy with Napoleon.
The film has been dividing opinions, with some people pointing out that it presents a “problematic approach” to France and the context of the time.
“The French don’t even like themselves. The audience I showed it to in Paris loved it.”
Thus, as a whole, the Napoleon reviews were largely favorable. The film’s epic settings and vast battle scenes, of which there are six, have been the source of much praise, while the film’s surprising sense of humor has also been well received.
However, French critics had a much less enthusiastic response. A review in ‘Le Figaro’ criticized the film and said it should be titled “Barbie and Ken under the Empire,” while ‘GQ France’ stated that it is “profoundly clumsy, unnatural and unintentionally funny” to have French characters speaking with American accents.
Additionally, Napoleon biographer Patrice Gueniffey told ‘Le Point’ magazine that Ridley Scott’s biopic has a “very anti-French and very pro-British” view of history.
However, Ridley Scott is not bothered by any negative reactions to his work. For example, in response to historians who pointed out several historical inaccuracies present in the Napoleon trailer, Scott responded bluntly: “Get a life.”
Joaquin Phoenix, Oscar winner for Joker, will play the French emperor and military leader. It is an original and personal look at Napoleon’s origins and his rapid and relentless rise, seen through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine, played by Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible).
The film opens in theaters on November 23 and will be available on Apple TV+ at a later date.