Brian Cox on Braveheart: “This movie is bullshit”

Brian Cox on Braveheart: “This movie is bullshit”

After Napoleon, the star of Succession attacks Mel Gibson and does not mince his words.

With five Oscars including Best Director and Best Film, three BAFTAs and a Golden Globe, Braveheart of Mel Gibson, released in 1995, is considered by many audiences to be a great historical drama. A cinematic masterpiece which received excellent reviews for its approach worthy of the great films of the genre, combining sensitivity and violence, and for its virtuoso battle scenes, still impressive three decades later.

Braveheart: the consecration film for Mel Gibson

Titanic project from the Australian-American actor, Braveheart traces the story of William Wallace, hero of Scottish independence at the end of the 13th century. He led a peasant revolt against the troops of King Edward I of England.

But like any historical film, it is far from coming close to reality. So, when King Edward I sends his daughter-in-law, Princess Isabelle of France (played by Sophie Marceau), the latter falls in love with William. In History, the one with a capital H, this meeting never took place. When William Wallace died, Isabella was only thirteen years old and not yet married to Edward II, the son of the King of England.

If Braveheart was conceived as a work of fiction inspired by an epic poem, the few implausibilities visibly displease one of the actors in the film – Brian Cox (Succession, Troy).

The Scottish actor playing Argyle Wallace, William's uncle played by Mel Gibson himself, did not appreciate historical errors for the sake of the drama. Interviewed by the British newspaper, The Standardon the occasion of the HistFest festival where he came to present his role in the play Long Day's Journey Into NightBrian Cox spoke bluntly:

Braveheart is a bunch of nonsense. Mel Gibson was amazing, but this movie is just a bunch of lies. He (editor’s note: William) never got the Princess of France pregnant. This movie is bullshit.”

Braveheart is not Cox's only target. Before emptying his bag on Mel Gibson's second feature film as director, it's up to Joaquin Phoenix (Joker, Gladiator) that he attacks. He virulently criticizes the American's performance as a poor Napoleon, according to him.

A “terrible performance” which he confidently admits could have been avoided. “I would have played it better”did he declare.

With or without inconsistencies and historical lies, spectators who wish to see or rewatch Braveheart can turn to Disney+ where the film is available for streaming.

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