The Emperor's New Clothes

Rated NR

Ian Holm lately has played roles as diverse as the hobbit Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and the morally-conflicted personal-injury lawyer in The Sweet Hereafter. He’s an asset to any movie, especially one as under-nourished as this fable-like re-imagining of the final years of Napoleon Bonaparte. Director Alan Taylor made the confident independent film Palookaville in 1995 and has since directed episodes of such esteemed TV fare as Six Feet Under, The Sopranos and The West Wing. Now he takes on this light-weight bit of whimsy that seems to have its fairy tales mixed up. An exiled Napoleon hires a look-alike commoner to take his place, but when the time comes the stand-in enjoys himself too much to give up his new identity. Sounds more like "The Prince and the Pauper," no? Worse, the movie can’t decide if it wants to be a romance, a comedy or a historical epic. Danish actress Iben Hjele (High Fidelity) is a nice addition, as is the enchanting score by Rachel Portman.

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