Last night, I visited the Silky Otter Theater (a fantastic venue, by the way) to watch Ridley Scott's latest film, "Napoleon." The movie has elicited a range of reactions, underscoring its highs and lows, which I find justifiable. Labeled as a high-budget war epic, it features intense and well-crafted battle scenes, with the Waterloo and guillotine sequences standing out for their graphic intensity. Scott's skill is apparent, yet it's somewhat undermined by a script that lacks in depth, failing to meaningfully link the pivotal moments of Napoleon's life.
Joaquin Phoenix delivers a stellar performance, adding a layer of complexity and neurosis to Napoleon. His role is crucial to the film's impact, which ranks as one of Ridley Scott's most ambitious undertakings, showcasing considerable scope.
The film could be compared to Napoleon himself, reflecting both brilliance and shortcomings. Despite receiving generally favorable reviews for its battle scenes and acting, it has been met with criticism in France, primarily due to historical inaccuracies. Some have even labeled it as anti-French. Nonetheless, it's a visually stunning and ambitious film, anchored by a powerful lead performance, though it grapples with issues in script depth and historical fidelity.