Director: Ridley Scott

157min., R

Screenwriter: David Scarp

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Tahar Rahim, Sinead Cusack, Ian McNeice.

Open Caption Screening Sunday, December 10


Ridley Scott’s grand historical epic is playing in cinemas, and public opinion may just spark another ferocious battle. While the French are bashing the lack of heroism in Napoléon’s incredible feats of will; the British are praising a more nuanced, human portrait of a flawed genius! The film opens as Napoléon witnesses the bloody outcome of the French Revolution, and leads French troops to repel the invading British, who have no interest in a modernized republic. Maybe not so modern, as Napoléon’s victories lead to his coronation as Emperor. Director Scott (who last directed Phoenix in Gladiator) does not ignore the complicated man’s inner life and his passionate love for Joséphine de Beauharnais (Vanessa Kirby), before, during and even after their tumultuous marriage. It is Joaquin Phoenix’s superb, intense performance and Scott’s masterful recreation of battles from Austerlitz to Waterloo that make Napoléon one of the best films of the year. “An awe-inspiring achievement …and a reminder that no other director makes films like Scott does.” Nicholas Barber, BBC.