the director of Napoleon responds sharply to criticism from the French press

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Ridley Scott, director of the film Napoleon which is released in theaters this week, received much better reviews in the Anglo-Saxon press than in the French. He responded scathingly to his detractors.

From one side of the Channel to the other, the film Napoleon by Anglo-American director Ridley Scott was variously appreciated. While he was in the United Kingdom to promote his feature film, with Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby in the starring roles, the director of GladiatorofAlien or even Blade Runner was asked about the more cautious reception given to him by the French presswhile the film will be in cinemas in France from this Wednesday, November 22.

Indeed, the film aroused the enthusiasm of the English press: the Guardianwho awards it 5 stars, sees it as a “outrageously spectacular cavalry charge” and the Times greets a “masterful historical film“, Also “entertaining than realistic“.

“I better not answer, I’ll be rude”

But as the BBC also notes, the French press was more mixed. Many historical errors or liberties have been denounced, for example in Point by the historian Patrice Gueniffey, who denounces an anti-French and pro-British interpretation of the story of the famous emperor defeated at Trafalgar by the Royal Navy. It also did not escape the BBC that Le Figaro, for its part, mentioned a film featuring “Barbie and Ken under the Empire“… In Le Figaro Magazine , Thierry Lentz, director of the Fondation Napoléon, points out “a fundamental historical misinterpretation”. “Napoleon’s decisions, ambition and destiny would have a unique cause, independent of his time, and this unique cause would be his love, absolute and possessive, for Josephine . Historians never thought about it», decides the historian.

These criticisms were not to the taste of Ridley Scott, who quipped in response to these remarks: “the French don’t even like themselves!», adding, however, that the film’s premiere in Paris, according to him, aroused the enthusiasm of the audience: “During the screening in Paris, the audience loved», he consoled himself.

At the BBC, Ridley Scott answered more unpleasant questions. Is he disappointed not to have received the Oscar for best director? “I do not care“, he told journalists. And what to think of the repeated criticisms of his film’s infidelity to historical reality? “Do you really want me to answer? You better not, I’m going to be rude!»

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