Ridley Scott Isn’t Worried About ‘Napoleon’ Critics Because ‘the French Don’t Even Like Themselves’

Ridley Scott is not a man who minces words. His press tour for his $200 million Apple epic “Napoleon” has already seen the 85-year-old filmmaker proclaiming that it’s “about feckin’ time” he won an Oscar and telling anyone critiquing the film’s historical accuracy to “get a life.” So it shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s not worried about what the French people think of his portrait of France’s most infamous general and emperor.

In a new interview with BBC News, Scott was asked about negative reviews that the film received from French media outlets including Le Figaro, Le Point, and French GQ. Predictably, Scott laughed off the criticisms.

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“The French don’t even like themselves,” Scott said. “The audience that I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.”

While the wait for fans to see “Napoleon” is almost over, Scott has made it clear that the version that will play in theaters over the Thanksgiving holiday is not his final cut. The director has also assembled a four-and-a-half hour cut of the film with two hours of additional footage that will stream on AppleTV at an unspecified later date. Many critics pointed out that the theatrical cut of the film felt incomplete and predicted that diehard Scott fans would embrace the extended cut as the definitive version like they did with “Blade Runner” and “Kingdom of Heaven.”

“Watching ‘Napoleon’ — or at least the choppy and somewhat formless 157-minute version of it that will be released into theaters in advance of the much longer director’s cut that fans will invariably claim as a masterpiece at a later date — I couldn’t help but feel like Scott may have been caught off-guard himself,” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich wrote in his review. “A stinging character study entombed within a sweeping epic that starts like a house on fire before stumbling through the climactic years of its subject’s life with all the grace and purpose of the Austrian army trying to flee Austerlitz, ‘Napoleon’ works best whenever it reads the French emperor for filth.”

AppleTV and Sony Pictures Releasing will release “Napoleon” in theaters on Wednesday, November 22.

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