Napoleon is riddled with historical howlers say academics; so what?

Ridley Scott brushes off critics of his blockbuster biopic

Listen | 27:07

Ridley Scott’s Napoleon is a “breathless rollick” says Irish Times chief film correspondent Donald Clarke; Joaquin Phoenix makes the character his own and Vanessa Kirby is a terrific Josephine. But since its release, historians have been carping from the aisles pointing out the inaccuracies in the sprawling blockbuster. Among other things they point out that Napoleon didn’t fire on the pyramids; he wasn’t at Marie Antoinette’s execution and he did not, when general, participate in cavalry charges. But so what? Does it matter? How faithful does an historical biopic be to the facts? Clarke, who has interviewed the veteran British film director many times, including most recently to discuss Napoleon, gives his take. Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by John Casey.

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison

Bernice Harrison is an Irish Times journalist and cohost of In the News podcast