One of the biggest films of the Fall is Ridley Scott’s sweeping historical epic “Napoleon” which details the checkered rise and fall of the iconic French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte (Oscar winner Joaquin Phoenix).
The film is said to boast six major battle sequences and involve all the usual epic scale you come to expect from a production by the director of “Gladiator” and “Kingdom of Heaven”.
However it also puts the focus on Napoleon’s addictive, volatile relationship with his true love Josephine de Beauharnais (Vanessa Kirby). In a recent interview with Empire, Scott talks about the complications of Josephine as a character.
It turns out in doing his research, Scott found her an incredibly challenging and intriguing character to write:
“It was very hard work, because it’s so easy to start talking about battles when I want to talk about Napoleon. So I kept reining it in, I kept going back to Josephine.
What was so challenging, and kind of elusive, about her, was that every single book, whether it was first-hand accounts, third-hand stories, documents, testimonies, and Napoleon’s letters… every single one was completely different.
She was just this massive contradiction. Every time I thought I’d locked down, ‘Okay, this is who she is, and I think I can get hold of this’, something would completely counteract it.”
Josephine rose from a wealthy noble family nearly killed during the French Revolution to Empress of France for five years, leaving behind a complex and not widely understood legacy of her own.
For his part, Phoenix says the film very much aims to skip the usual tropes of biographical films: “That’s definitely something we wanted to avoid. Certainly speaking for myself, I actively wanted to avoid the conventions of the biopic.”
“Napoleon” is set to hit cinemas on November 22nd.