With this morning’s debut of the grand and stirring trailer for Ridley Scott‘s Napoleon (Apple/Sony, 11.22), there can be no doubt that Dariusz Wolski‘s cinematography (Barry Lyndon-ish, exquisitely lighted, immaculately framed) will be Oscar nominated…no question about it. An absolute visual knockout.

Let’s go for the gusto and predict that Napoleon will almost certainly be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar…look at it! And given this, how could Scott not land a Best Director nomination?

I’m almost disappointed that this trailer has popped online, as I’d understood it would be exclusive to theatres (attached to Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One) for a few days. I bought a ticket to see MI:7 tomorrow evening specifically to catch the Napoleon trailer on a big screen.

As expected, Joaquin Phoenix‘s Napoleon Bonaparte doesn’t speak with a Pepe Le Pew French accent. Nobody in the entire cast does, it seems.

Phoenix will deliver a fascinating performance, I’m sure, but his obviously un-youthful, unmistakably creased, late-40ish features argue that he’s too old for the part.

Phoenix was roughly 48 during filming, and (let’s be honest) looked it. Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise-to-power heyday was between ages 20 and 40, or between 1789 (the launch of the French revolution) and the Battle of Wagram (1809). He met the 32 year-old Josephine (Vanessa Kirby) when he was 26, which was also Phoenix’s age, more or less, when he played the rancid Commodus in Scott’s Gladiator (’00).

Marlon Brando‘s performance as Napoleon in Henry Koster‘s Desiree (’54) was more age-appropriate. Born in 1924, Brando was 29 and 30 during filming.

Oh, and by the way? Catherine Walker‘s presumably brief performance as Marie Antoinette seems perfect. That impudent, fuck-the-peasants expression is just right.