The City of Lights played host to a cinematic extravaganza last night as Ridley Scott's highly anticipated historical action epic, "Napoleon," made its world premiere at the illustrious Salle Pleyel in Paris. The grand event, attended by a dazzling array of stars, marked a momentous return for Hollywood after the recent resolution of the 118-day SAG-AFTRA strike.
The red carpet event was a star-studded affair, graced by the presence of the legendary director himself, Ridley Scott, and the film's lead actors Joaquin Phoenix and Vanessa Kirby. The trio, along with Tahar Rahim, Edouard Philipponnat, and producer Giannina Facio, walked the red carpet amid a wave of excitement and applause from the gathered audience.
Set against the mesmerizing backdrop of Napoleon Bonaparte's relentless quest for power, the film promises to be a visual spectacle, showcasing Ridley Scott's directorial prowess and the stellar performances of the cast. Joaquin Phoenix, the Oscar-winning actor famed for his transformative roles, stepped into the shoes of the French general turned emperor, delivering a performance that reportedly left the audience in awe.
Vanessa Kirby, known for her roles in "Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One" and "The Crown," embodied the influential Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, navigating the challenges of a character entrenched in a masculine world. Her portrayal, coupled with Scott's visionary direction, promises to bring depth and nuance to the historical drama.
The premiere, attended by around 2000 spectators at the Salle Pleyel, was graced by the presence of notable figures from the French film industry. Vincent Perez, Elsa Zylberstein, Aïssa Maïga, and Jean-Marc Barr were among the luminaries who added to the glamour of the event, creating a sense of anticipation for the film's release.
The film captures the essence of Napoleon's famous battles, his unyielding ambition, and strategic brilliance as a military leader. It delves into the complex dynamics of his romantic relationship with Joséphine, providing a unique perspective on the iconic figure's personal life.
Ridley Scott, who has previously helmed cinematic masterpieces such as "Gladiator" and "Blade Runner," expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work on such a monumental project. He acknowledged the dedication of the cast and crew, highlighting the collaborative effort that went into bringing this historical epic to life.
The Paris premiere not only marked a triumphant return for Hollywood to the red carpet but also highlighted the end of the recent actors' strike, allowing stars to once again engage with audiences and promote their films. Tom Rothman, Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, lauded the French setting for the premiere, considering the film's French DNA and its subject, the renowned French emperor.
While "Napoleon" received acclaim from the audience, boasting a commendable 79% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it comes with a unique twist for Apple, which financed the film. The strict windowing rules in France will delay the streaming release on Apple TV+ for 17 months after the film's exclusive theatrical run.
As the world eagerly anticipates the global release of "Napoleon" on November 22, 2023, the Paris premiere has set the stage for what promises to be a cinematic masterpiece, capturing the grandeur of Napoleon's historic journey and the brilliance of Ridley Scott's storytelling. The film is poised to leave an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape, and the echoes of its premiere in Paris will undoubtedly reverberate throughout the awards season.
A spectacular fresco, Napoleon follows the rise and fall of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The film traces Bonaparte's relentless conquest of power through the prism of his passionate and tormented relationship with Josephine, the great love of his life. Author of memorable epics, Ridley Scott evokes Napoleon's military genius and political strategies, while staging some of the most impressive battle sequences ever filmed.
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by David Scarpa
Produced by Ridley Scott, Kevin J. Walsh, Mark Huffam, Joaquin Phoenix
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby
Cinematography : Dariusz Wolski
Edited by Claire Simpson, Sam Restivo
Music by Martin Phipps
Production companies : Apple Studios, Scott Free Productions
Distributed by Columbia Pictures (through Sony Pictures Releasing), Apple Original Films (through Apple TV+)
Release dates : November 14, 2023 (Salle Pleyel), November 22, 2023 (United States and United Kingdom)
Running time : 157 minutes
Photos : Copyright Anthony Ghnassia / Sony Pictures Releasing