Joaquin Phoenix's 'ridiculous' accent in Napoleon trailer is confusing viewers
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The trailer has now dropped for new biopic film taking a look at an eternally divisive figure - Napoleon Bonaparte.
This new iteration, which is directed by Alien and Gladiator's Ridley Scott and will be released on 22 November, will take a broader look at Napoleon's life and rise to power.
However, one aspect has drawn particular attention and that is Phoenix's accent, and let's just say, 'ce n'est pas très français'.
Instead, the Her star uses an American accent to portray Napoleon, who was born on the island of Corsica before moving to France.
Meanwhile many other characters in the show appear to adopt British accents, like The Crown star Vanessa Kirby who plays Napoleon's first wife, Josephine.
It's something of a dilemma for any casting director and actor when an English language film portrays people who did not speak English.
If an actor does not speak the language, then it can be a big gambit.
Scott's 2021 film, House of Gucci, faced a similar problem where the cast's Italian accents faced some criticism from viewers - which Jared Leto eventually responded too.
Do you risk a scenario where someone attempts an accent but it comes off badly, or even offensively? Or alternatively, you can simply have them not adopt the accent, but lose a sense of authenticity.
It seems like a lose-lose situation either way, but people still had mixed feelings about hearing Napoleon speak English with an American accent.
"Unpopular opinion I guess but joaquin phoenix playing napoleon with an american accent is weird to me." one person said.
Another said: "Napoleon looks great but when are we gonna stop making every European historical film riddled with English accents? Just do a French accent.
"Or better yet, have a translator make the script in French."
Someone else also asked if Phoenix even had a 'voice/accent/dialogue coach' for the movie.
“Napoleon speaking English in an American accent when he was French is ridiculous.” a third commenter said.
While a fourth said: "The Napoleon film looks pretty good. But sacre bleu (!), why is Joaquin Phoenix not doing a French accent?"
And one viewer said they wanted Phoenix to 'speak with Corsican accent' as Napoleon has 'never been represented on screen speaking it', even in France.
However, another commenter thought it was better without, adding: "it’s actually so f***ing awesome that joaquin phoenix isn’t doing a french accent or any accent for napoleon he’s just using his normal voice/accent.
"Unironically perfect and the performance will be better for it i think."