Zack Sharf Digital News Director Ridley Scott is shrugging off the negative reviews coming out of France for his new historical epic “Napoleon,” which stars Joaquin Phoenix as the infamous French emperor and Vanessa Kirby as his wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.
Reviews are all over the place for the biographical drama. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw gave it five stars, for instance, while French GQ wrote its “deeply clumsy, unnatural and unintentionally funny” to have French characters speaking in American accents.
As recapped by the BBC, other French publications also targeted Scott’s latest. The daily newspaper Le Figaro said the film could be renamed “Barbie and Ken Under the Empire,” while Napoleon biographer Patrice Gueniffey told Le Point magazine that Scott made a “very anti-French and very pro-British” rewrite of history. “The French don’t even like themselves” Scott told the BBC when presented with the negatives reviews coming out of France. “The audience that I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.” “Napoleon” held its world premiere in Paris.
Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman called the movie “bloated” in his review, adding: “While the dynamic between a stoic Joaquin Phoenix and smoldering Vanessa Kirby intrigues, the French emperor’s strange relationship with Josephine distracts from the director’s specialty: epic war footage.” Scott has taken many of the criticisms against “Napoleon” in stride during his press tour.Read more on variety.com
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