Spectacular epic from Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma & Louise) about the rise and fall of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, with Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role.

Time & Tickets

Ridley Scott tells Napoleon’s life story seen through the prism of his volatile relationship with Joséphine de Beauharnais, his wife and only true love. For the role of Napoleon, Joaquin Phoenix was cast, according to Scott ‘the best player of damaged goods’, and thus perfect for the role of the legendary emperor. The film begins during the French Revolution, when the then relatively unknown general Napoleon is tasked with quelling the riots. From there, the action moves backwards and forwards in time and we see, among other things, the invasion of Egypt in 1798 and the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, a battle in which Napoleon proved his military genius by defeating the much larger Austrian and Russian armies.

Countless biographers have tried to portray the French emperor. Napoleon is a man of many faces: war criminal and dictator, but also art-loving intellectual and the father of our legal system. Film adaptations of Napoleon’s life have always seemed cursed. NAPOLÉON (1927) by Abel Gance is superb, but the silent film appeared at a time when sound film had just come into vogue and was a commercial flop. Only decades later the film was rediscovered as a masterpiece. Stanley Kubrick tried for years to make a film about Napoleon, but he couldn’t get it financed and the film (which was supposed to star Jack Nicholson) has gone down in history as ‘the greatest film never made’. We are therefore curious to see whether Ridley Scott will manage to lift the curse (mv).

Please note: Ahead of the premiere of NAPOLEON, Lumière is also screening Ridley Scott's THELMA & LOUISE.

Ridley Scott, UK, USA, 2023, 158 min. English spoken, Dutch subtitles. With Joaquin Phoenix, Vanessa Kirby, Ludivine Sagnier, Rupert Everett, Ian McNeice..