Ridley Scott doesn’t care if French critics aren’t fans of his new biographical war drama “Napoleon.” The film, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon Bonaparte and Vanessa Kirby as Napoleon’s first wife, Empress Joséphine, was attacked by several French publications for its historical inaccuracies and casting.
French GQ, for example, called having French characters speaking with American accents “deeply awkward, unnatural and unintentionally funny.” In the same spirit, the morning daily Le Figaro suggested that the film should instead be titled “Barbie and Ken under the Empire”. And Napoleon’s biographer, Patrice Gueniffey, told Le Point magazine that Scott had done a “very anti-French and very pro-British” rewriting of history.
“The French don’t even like each other,” Scott told the BBC when asked about the negative reviews. “The audience I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.”
“Napoleon” was first presented at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on November 14 and is scheduled for release in the United States and the United Kingdom on November 22. Earlier this month, Scott went viral for his rather blunt response to TV historian Dan Snow. , who called out the film’s factual errors in a TikTok post.
“Have a life,” Scott told Snow and other history experts in an interview with the New Yorker.