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Peter Principle
Peter Principle
4 months ago

Thanks, as always, to Anne-Elisabeth Moutet. No other Unherd writer can compete with Mme Moutet’s panache when it comes to twisting the knife.
When NapolĂ©on Bonaparte’s nephew became Napoleon III, Marx wrote of history repeating itself the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. Now, with Macron, we might add a third time as marionettes, followed, I fear, by a grand guignol.

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter Principle
Pat Davers
Pat Davers
4 months ago

Comparing Macron to Napoleon romantically suggests that his sudden emergence from nowhere and his “brilliant campaign” came about through sheer force of personality. Another more mundane explanation is that, faced with a resurgence of the populist left and right in the persons of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon respectively, the “centrist” establishment and their well-oiled machine went to work, thrust the man they had been grooming into the limelight, and hastily assembled a party machine around him. 
I know which explanation I’d plump for.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
4 months ago
Reply to  Pat Davers

Indeed, and they managed to muck it up so badly that Macron’s job at this point is basically to sit on the lid of the pot so it doesn’t boil over and hope somebody comes to rescue him and his ilk from the revolution. If we’re determined to make a historical comparison for Macron out of French history, I think Louis XVI is nearer the mark.

Chris Hayes
Chris Hayes
4 months ago

I was looking forward to seeing it and saw the film on Wednesday last week, but found Joachim Phoenix unconvincing – especially as a 20-something General.
Surely a project of this scope didn’t need a name like Phoenix to attract the crowds… it would have been a fine opportunity for a younger actor.
Overall I thought the film disappointing. It was always going to be a sketch of his life and achievements whichever aspect of Napoleon’s life it tackled, but to cover two of Europe’s most tumultuous decades in a couple of hours….nope.
A series would have been a better medium.

Last edited 4 months ago by Chris Hayes
James Jenkin
James Jenkin
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Hayes

I’ve only seen the trailer, but it looks so lame. Phoenix just stands there looking grumpy.
Portraying a powerful figure needs energy, mystery, fear. Dr Zhivago did it well it bits:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsjzY0lGLdw
Half of it is just editing and sound

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago

Problem with Napoleon is similar to what Russia is facing today.
He won many battles but he left France depopulated.
So France from great military power became subservient to Prussia and then united Germany.
Yes, his administrative and legislative achievements are great if you believe in statist, bureaucratic arrangements.
Reality is though, that more market driven approach of Anglo-Saxon world proved to be more successful in creating wealth and new industries.
Which in turn saved France in two world wars.
I love French wine, food and art.
Reality is though, that without uk and USA there would be no France.

John Solomon
John Solomon
4 months ago

un Anglais trĂšs antifrançais”
Isn’t that somewhat of an oxymoron?

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
4 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

I’d rather say it’s a tautology 😉

John Solomon
John Solomon
4 months ago

You would be right : I would be an idiot.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
4 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

You are definitely not (and I am right on this count, too )

Last edited 4 months ago by Vesselina Zaitzeva
John Solomon
John Solomon
4 months ago

You are very generous.

Ray Andrews
Ray Andrews
4 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

And you have style.

Vesselina Zaitzeva
Vesselina Zaitzeva
4 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Thank you It’s very kind of you

Last edited 4 months ago by Vesselina Zaitzeva
Geoff Cooper
Geoff Cooper
4 months ago
Reply to  John Solomon

Anyway, isn’t Ridley Scott a Scot?

JOHN KANEFSKY
JOHN KANEFSKY
4 months ago
Reply to  Geoff Cooper

No He’s from South Shields on Tyneside

Richard C
Richard C
4 months ago

Yes, Macron is “….is done, a three-year lame duck”; and deservedly so as a pale imitation of the real Napoleon.
However, it is also the case that Napoleon was a very disappointing movie and Scott and Phoenix failed as much as the screenwriter failed.

michael harris
michael harris
4 months ago

The first paragraph of ‘The Charterhouse of Parma’ drips with the elegant sarcasm of which Stendhal was a master. The fashionable performative enthusiasm of the Milanese is expertly filleted. How can Moutet have missed this?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
4 months ago

“Emmanuel Macron is the closest we have come to a Bonapartiste recently.”

What about Charles de Gaulle and his ‘running away’ to Kaiserslautern in 1968 or is that now ancient history?

Andrew F
Andrew F
4 months ago

Yes, French running away?
Is it a pattern or an exception?
At least Italians have a pattern.
Never finishing war on the same side they started it.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
4 months ago

Centralising the state and introducing a civil code aren’t the subject of films. Inevitably any dramatic representation of Napoleon will focus on his military victories and defeats. Not mentioned is how the other great powers with the exception of Prussia/Germany worked so hard to avoid another war in Europe for the century after Napoleon, so great had been the price Europe paid for Napoleon’s violence.

SIMON WOLF
SIMON WOLF
4 months ago

Found the film very poorly edited and the script was mediocre.The actress who plays Josephine is the main highlight but Phoenix is average not least if compared to Rod Steiger who played Napoleon in Waterloo,

Barrie EMMETT
Barrie EMMETT
4 months ago

However one should watch Napoleon and see Ridley Scott at his very best.

Nicholas Taylor
Nicholas Taylor
4 months ago

So, should I see the movie, or stay away to avoid having my mind contaminated – and stick to War and Peace?

TERRY JESSOP
TERRY JESSOP
4 months ago

Crap movie. Stay away!