MOVIES

Napoleon Director Ridley Scott Responds To ‘Anti-French’ Criticism

Throughout the press tour for “Napoleon,” Ridley Scott has been characteristically blunt when it comes to the film’s critics, particularly those concerned about its historical accuracy. In that same chat with the BBC, Scott was asked what he thought of historians’ concerns and simply said, “You really want me to answer that? … it will have a bleep in it.”

After expressing a similar sentiment in a New Yorker interview, summing it all up by saying “get a life,” Scott opened up a little more while speaking to Total Film. “I’ve done a lot of historical films,” he mused. “I find I’m reading a report of someone else’s report 100 years after the event. So I wonder, ‘How much do they romance and elaborate? How accurate is it?’ It always amuses me when a critic says to me, ‘This didn’t happen in Jerusalem.’ I say, ‘Were you there? That’s the f***ing answer.'”

It appears that Scott played pretty fast and loose with history. There are scenes where Napoleon fires cannons at the Egyptian pyramids, which decisively and definitively did not happen, and Vanessa Kirby, who plays Napoleon’s wife, Josephine, is much younger than Joaquin Phoenix despite how the leader was six years his spouse’s junior in real life. Apparently, though, the director doesn’t particularly care, and he made exactly the movie he wanted to make.

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