Martin Scorsese may be notorious among comic book movie fans, but he’s relatively diplomatic. He’s not, say, Ridley Scott, who straight up said those films’ scripts aren’t “any f*cking good.” The Gladiator filmmaker has other blunt assessments where that came from. He’s already said told critics of his latest epic, Napoleon, to “get a life.” He’s even meaner to those critics who happen to be French.
In a new profile by the BBC, Scott addresses some of the reviews he’s been getting in the nation over which Napoleon Bonaparte once ruled. Unlike the notices elsewhere, which have been strong, even arguing that it’s best read as a comedy, the French have described it as a “deeply clumsy, unnatural and unintentionally funny.” Napoleon biographer Patrice Gueniffey slammed it, calling it a “very anti-French and very pro-British” rewrite of history.
Scott predictably had a withering response to his Gallic critics. “The French don’t even like themselves,” Scott replied. “The audience that I showed it to in Paris, they loved it.”
Perhaps Napoleon haters simply didn’t enjoy the short-ish cut that’s hitting theaters. As of now, the film runs two hours and 38 minutes — exactly as long as his last feature, the Jared Leto vehicle House of Gucci. That may seem short for a movie about the famously diminutive emperor, but don’t worry: There’s a good chance you’ll one day be able to see a longer cut Scott swears is “fantastic.”
Napoleon hits theaters on November 22.