Ridley Scott tells Napoleon naysayers to “get a life”

Ridley Scott thinks those that constantly criticize a movie’s historical (in)accuracies — particularly Napoleon — need to “get a life.”

Last Updated on November 21, 2023

Joaquin Phoenix Napoelon

As with any historical film based on a prominent figure or event, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon has faced some criticism for its historical inaccuracies – and the movie hasn’t even come out yet! Upon the arrival of the trailer, Dan Snow – a historian and television personality – took to TikTok to point out the errors, much to the dismay of its director.

After learning of the breakdown and just what Snow zeroes in on, Ridley Scott told The New Yorker that he – and those constantly questioning inaccuracies in such pictures – need to “get a life.” What makes anybody think Ridley Scott wants to hear your gripes?

Snow, who is an admitted fan of Ridley Scott, broke down the trailer for Napoleon by picking apart every detail he could, down to the poster’s tagline: “He came from nothing. He conquered everything,” which the commentator quickly rebuked. He then moved on to Marie Antoinette’s execution, citing that her hair was actually cropped and Napoleon was on the other side of the country. To this, he said, “It looks cool”, which comes off a bit snide…

From there, the trailer – again, this is less than three minutes of Napoleon footage Snow has seen – is blasted for both the location of the Battle of the Pyramids and the fact that Napoleon apparently never shot cannons at the pyramids. At another point, Snow points out that Napoleon also didn’t lead a cavalry charge, and if he did, it shouldn’t have been been filmed the way it was. But, again, “It looks good.”

Considering Dan Snow’s TikTok video runs about twice as long as the trailer, we can fully expect a shot-by-shot breakdown that runs around five hours – and a heck of a lot longer for Scott’s four-plus-hour director’s cut

Whether he’s going about it in a pompous way or not, Snow’s commentary does raise the exact questions we’ve had since the dawn of historical epics: How much does historical accuracy matter? Does the necessity for drama outweigh the importance of historical detail? Where should the balance be? At what point does it have a genuine impact on the picture?

Ridley Scott also noted, “You know, I haven’t gotten an Oscar yet,” recalling three losses to Jonathan Demme, Steven Soderbergh and Ron Howard. “And, if I ever get one, I’ll say, ‘About feckin’ time!’” Unfortunately for Scott, Napoleon won’t be nabbing him one, either, as Christopher Nolan is the current frontrunner for Oppenheimer.

Source: The New Yorker

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.