Ridley Scott on criticism for "Napoleon": The French don't even like themselves



by SEDEDIN DEDOVIC

Ridley Scott on criticism for "Napoleon": The French don't even like themselves
© Marc Piasecki / Getty Images

The historical epic "Napoleon," directed by Ridley Scott, has garnered mixed reviews, with some critics praising the film and others criticizing its historical accuracy and portrayal of French characters. Despite facing criticism, Scott remains confident in his work and has defended the film against negative reviews, particularly those coming from France.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Scott responded to negative reviews from French critics, stating, "The French don't even like themselves." He further elaborated, "The audience I showed it to in Paris loved it." This suggests that the film may resonate more with international audiences than with French critics.

Ridley Scott wants to say that those who spat on the film are a minority, most of the French consider it a good film. The film's portrayal of French characters has been a particular point of contention, with some critics criticizing the use of American accents for French dialogue.

French daily newspaper Le Figaro even suggested renaming the film "Barbie and Ken under the Empire." Additionally, Napoleon biographer Patrice Guinifi accused Scott of presenting a "very anti-French and very pro-British" interpretation of history.

Ridley Scott says that when making a film, it is not possible for everything to be historically correct

Scott, however, dismissed these criticisms, asserting that historical accuracy is not always paramount in filmmaking.

He told Total Film magazine, "I've done a lot of historical films. It always amuses me when a critic says, 'This didn't happen in Jerusalem.' I say, 'Were you there? That's the answer.' " Despite facing criticism, "Napoleon" has also received positive reviews from some critics.

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw gave the film five stars, praising its visual splendor and Joaquin Phoenix's performance as Napoleon. Overall, "Napoleon" appears to be a divisive film, with both strong supporters and detractors.

While some critics have expressed concerns about its historical accuracy and portrayal of French characters, others have praised its visual appeal and Phoenix's performance. Ultimately, it will be up to audiences to decide whether the film succeeds or falls short.