Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 16th, 2003
It is 1821. Napoleon is in exile on St. Helena, but not for long. His exact double is found,and the two men switch identities. Napoleon, now disguised as Eugene Lenormand, makeshis way back to France. The idea is that, once the real emperor is in Paris, the double will exposehimself, and the people will rally around the returned ruler. But Eugene decides he likes beingemperor. Napoleon is now stuck in the role of a poor man. Naturally, this being a romanticcomedy, there are…compensations. Though a comedy, this is not slapstick. The humour is lowkey, and there is a real dramatic heft to the events. A delight.
The sound is as crisp and clear as one could wish, and the music has a lush, powerful mix.The sound effects are good when present (nice effects of wind and waves, for instance), but dotake a back seat to the music. The dialogue is distortion-free.
The anamorphic widescreen transfer is quite breathtaking. The precise ratio is not listed. I’mguessing 1.78:1, but could be wrong. The blacks are fabulous — very solid and deep. There arenumerous scenes lit only by candlelight, and the warmth and depth of the colours here are superb.There are lots of really beautiful moments here, unspoiled by grain or edge.
The menu is basic, and there are no extras at all.
A gentle, warm film with a truly stunning transfer. The total lack of extras is a bitdisappointing, though.