As soon as the first trailers were published, Ridley Scott's Napoleon - with Joaquin Phoenix in the role of the ambitious general who would become consul and then emperor of the French - suffered criticism from specialists of the period such as Émilie Robbe, chief curator of Heritage at the Paris Army Museum, which detected some historical inconsistencies in the sequences revealed.
A fierce defender of his work, Ridley Scott has already wanted to respond sharply to his detractors even before the official release of the film on November 22, in France, the United States and the United Kingdom. It was in the New Yorker that the director of Blade Runner and Alien spoke highly of the critics who pointed the finger at "historical inventions" such as shooting at the pyramids or even the presence of Bonaparte during the execution of Queen Marie-Antoinette. Responding point-for-tat to a question from the journalist who reminded him of his inconsistencies, Ridley Scott said, certainly offended: “You have nothing better to do!”
Also read: These 3 (small) historical errors in the trailer for Ridley Scott's Napoleon
Napoleon by Ridley Scott, released on November 22, with Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby (Joséphine), Tahar Rahim (Barras), Ludivine Sagnier (Madame Tallien)...
In the mind of the American filmmaker, his Napoleon is not a historical film nor a university documentary but rather a vision, a fiction around the destiny of Napoleon Bonaparte. Concerned about his authorial freedom, he wanted through this new Napoleonic fresco to show a new interpretation of the epic of a man who became brigadier general at 25, First Consul at 30, Emperor at 35 and who finished his life, exiled on “a rock lost in the middle of the Atlantic”, Saint Helena. A perfectionist, Ridley Scott has also promised that a “Director's cut” version of some 4 hours and 10 minutes should be broadcast on Apple TV... implying that only there, perhaps, will critics be able to judge the quality of his cinematographic work.