“Were You There? Oh, You Weren’t There. Then How Would You Know?”
Lauded director, Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator), has some choice words for critics of the historical accuracy of his epic drama, Napoleon.
Barbie and Ken Under the Empire
For Scott, tackling a historical film is not a deviation from his norm, and while UK critics seem to appreciate his latest craft, some French ones have more nuanced opinions.
Le Figaro calls Napoleon “Barbie and Ken under the Empire.” Moreover, Le Point magazine says it’s “very anti-French and pro-British.” Finally, GQ France reports how it’s “deeply clumsy, unnatural, and unintentionally clumsy.”
Like his subject matter, Napoleon, Scott took decisive action against the enemy. In an interview with the BBC, he shot down French critics by saying, “the French don’t even like themselves. The audience that I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.”
Furthermore, the Oscar-nominated director relayed that those who question whether the film is historically accurate could not know because they weren’t physically present during the events: “Were you there? Oh, you weren’t there. Then how do you know?” Arguing that one can dismiss history if they didn’t witness it themselves is a huge no-no. However, there were no cameras back then, only oil paintings that took forever to create.
In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream
“In space, no one can hear you scream,” but on earth, Scott’s message toward his critics is loud and clear. And if he wants to use his sharp tongue, he sure can because he introduced the world to the incredible acting of Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator (2000), and he reunited with him again for another cinematic go. Therefore, the critics can take a punch from him. Or take a lion inside of his arena.
Napoleon will be released in the US and UK on November 22nd.
Napoleon (2023) Official Sony Pictures Entertainment Trailer