How the film “Napoleon” was received in France: Between rebellion, criticism and appreciation / “A bunch of crap”

How the film "Napoleon" was received in France: Between rebellion, criticism and appreciation / "A bunch of crap"

“Grandiose” or full of historical errors and an indictment of a national figure: Opinions are mixed among the first French viewers of Ridley Scott’s Napoleon film, which has received a lukewarm reception from critics, according to AFP.

The movie NapoleonPhoto: Riccardo Milani/AFP/Profimedia Images

“It’s shit! No, I didn’t like it,” said Clément Pillet as he left the Paradis cinema in Fontainebleau, south of Paris.

Although he admits that the British director rose “quite well” to the challenge of “telling the life of Napoleon in 2 hours and 40 minutes”, he was not at all convinced by the battle scenes, despite being the climax of the film, ” a bunch of shit.”

“Jean-Luc, who does not want to give his name, was also very disappointed. He criticized the film for “historical errors” and for being “anti-Napoleon”, played by Joaquin Phoenix.

In this opus, Ridley Scott does not hide his fascination with the fate of a leader full of conquests, celebrated for the art of war or accused of setting Europe on fire.

Marie-Laure Jeanmougin also felt that this great figure of French history, “a one-of-a-kind, whether you like him or not, was degraded in certain scenes that were not necessary”.

But she found the film “very, very beautiful”, “as we expect from Americans, something magnificent”.

According to the specialist website Allociné, this lukewarm reception was shared by French press critics, who gave the film an average score of just 2.9 (out of 5).

Since the preview, several French historians have flagged Ridley Scott’s historical interpretations, some of them even accusing him of a British bias hostile to Napoleon.

In the weekly Le Point, the historian Patrice Gueniffey criticized the film for being “a caricature of an ambitious Corsican troll, a frowning braggart who is also disgusting to his wife Josephine”.



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