|The Emperor's New Clothes|
Ian Holm, Iben Hjejle, Tim McInnerny, Hugh Bonneville
Widescreen; closed caption; English subtitles.
|Costume drama meets romantic comedy meets historical speculation in a too-gentle, affably humorous diversion from able TV director Alan Taylor ("The Sopranos," "Sex and the City"). "The Emperor's New Clothes," carried by the game acting of Ian Holm in a dual role, shows what might have happened if Napoleon Bonaparte (Holm), in exile on the island of St. Helena, had swapped places with a double (Holm, again) and returned to France to reclaim his throne as emperor. The imperious Napoleon, reduced to impersonating a lowly deckhand, struts, frets and tries to cope with his loss of luxury and privilege when he reaches Paris. The man replacing him on St. Helena is a simpering clown who takes to the cushy life of an aristocrat and may jeopardize the conspiracy. Iben Hjejle, the Danish actress who was so good opposite John Cusack in "High Fidelity," is gracious as a poor but comely widow whose love for the disguised Bonaparte is enough to tame a tyrant. But the film needed less tenderness and more satire.|