Wonderful! Miyazaki's graciously poetic mind has conjured up a fantasy fairytale fable from post-war Japan, a bit in the style of Pan's Labyrinth. It is perhaps impossible to watch except with a permanent smile and the occasional tear in the eye. The animation is breathtaking and, in comparison, the Pixar, Disney and Sony trailers that preceded it are truly pathetic. It's not that I don't like CGI animation, but The Boy and the Heron simply took my breath away, something that didn’t happen (yet) when watching those other films.
I don't really fault the makers of 65 for wanting to make anything other than a fun flick that isn't completely stupid. And they succeeded. The problem is that Adam Driver is a bit wasted in films like this. But he did go for it and it's a good thing it didn't end up being a disaster despite all the problems. And Ariana Greenblatt is a sweetheart!
Basically, Napoleon has everything I was looking forward to, but it's always too short. The film jumps from scene to scene for two and a half hours, but gives little space to make an impact. Phoenix's Napoleon is the same (or rather, just as unpleasant) from beginning to end and doesn't surprise in like Vanessa Kirby's Josephine. The other characters are unfortunately stale, however interesting they could have been – Napoleon's brother and their mother, Josephine's lover, Wellington... I believe that in the long version they will be given their due space, but I would also like to see those promised spectacular battles get their due space, because we didn't get much of those either. What I wouldn't give for the whole film to take place during the Egyptian campaign, for example! But no, we're here for a while, there's no time for a tactical demonstration, the scenes need subtitles with years so they don't blend in. Ridley Scott doesn't really show his hand until the end, at Waterloo, where I got everything I wanted, but I'm not going to lie when I say I was already wishing for the film to end about half an hour before that. I'm sorry, but I rate it as I rate it. If you want to see a really good cinematic Napoleon, check out Bondarchuk's masterpiece, the Czech Waterloo with Rudolf Hrušínský if you're in the mood for a TV psychological treat. And if you want to see a long film about a controversial warlord who deserves every minute of its runtime, Patton is for you.