Emperor's New Clothes, The

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: +3

Based on a novel by Simon Leyes, THE EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES is described as a re-imagining of the last days of Napoleon Bonaparte. Starting with the premise that the historical account of Napoleons death is not accurate, it proceeds to tell a re-imagined version of his last days. Beginning with his exile on the island of St. Helena, the story envisions his escape and long trek to Paris. To avoid being pursued, Napoleon (Ian Holm) leaves behind a commoner, named Eugene Lenormand (Ian Holm), who looks like him and will pretend to be the exiled Emperor. The plan calls for Eugene to reveal his true identity after Napoleon arrives in Paris where the French people will supposedly greet him with open arms and restore his place as leader of France. But even best laid plans go awry and Napoleon must decide what to do next. Not all of Napoleons luck is unfortunate as an attractive widow called Pumpkin (Iben Hjejle) takes a liking to him and lets him stay in her home. This does not sit well with Dr. Lambert (Tim McInnerny), Pumpkins suitor, but she is hopelessly smitten with the charming monarch. How all these events come to conclusion make for an intriguing, suspenseful and sometimes comical story. Produced in Europe in a sophisticated, elegant style, THE EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES should find a fairly substantial audience in the U.S, even on a limited circuit.

Refreshingly, this film has only minor questionable elements, maintaining its elegance and charm throughout. Ian Holm delivers an excellent performance, portraying Napoleon as a refined gentlemen, albeit a temperamental and sometimes eccentric one. Pumpkin shares her bed with Napoleon, but no sexual encounters are shown. And they treat one another with kindness and respect. On the other hand, some suggestive passages from Napoleons memoirs are read out loud to a group at a library. Dr. Lambert has strong anti-war feelings and takes Napoleon to an institution to see the depressing sight of many mentally-ill veterans of his military campaigns. Most of the language in the film is genteel, but some soldiers on St. Helena become disgusted with the lavish lifestyle and gross eating habits of Eugene. They use some derogatory, crude words when talking with him. Virtually free of violence, this refined, historical comedy-drama should please discriminating movie-goers.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Paramount Classics, 5555 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90038

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild 1, moderate 1

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once - Exclamatory (OMG)

Violence: Few times - Mild (Rough treatment of ships crewmember; Napoleon cuts hand when he climbs wall)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (Suggestive passages read from book)

Drugs: None, but wine drinking on occasions - no drunkenness

Other: Man urinates on tree - back to camera, doctor laments effects of war, sexual affair suggested

Running Time: 107 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.