Stone portrayed as horror of horrors

Often-controversial director Oliver Stone has blamed the failure of his epic film Alexander on the "raging fundamentalism" in the U.S. South.

The film, which stars Irish actor Colin Farrell in the story of the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great, was greeted with derisive reviews.

It was also a failure at the box office. Budgeted at roughly $150 million U.S., it has pulled in only $34 million so far, says CBC News.

According to the BBC News, Stone’s films are accused of being both inaccurate and tendentious. Stone is portrayed as self-obsessed, inconsistent and, horror of horrors, anti-American.

Today, those who have often led the chorus against the director are crowing. Far from conquering the world, Stone's $150m big-screen biopic of Alexander the Great, starring Colin Farrell and Angelina Jolie, has failed even to make it out of barracks.

Takings have been disastrous - a mere $41,000 in the US over the Christmas holiday weekend - and the critics have fallen over themselves to put the boot in.

"How could a film go so wrong?" enquired the San Francisco Chronicle; the Financial Times called it "misconceived" and the New York Post says that Alexander is "a travesty and a bore".

Oliver Stone has a penchant for unsubstantiated conspiracy, as demonstrated in his egregious JFK, and in light of this his decision to portray the hero merely as Alexander the Probably Slightly Gay seems quite restrained: he might easily have given us Alexander the Left-Handed Cat-Hating African Syphilitic Booze-hound and Freemason.

Any attempt to “understand” Alexander necessarily involves guesswork, or fantasy, for there is little reliable evidence for what he thought or felt about anything. We are fascinated by the mind of Alexander because we know so little about it; instead we can only extrapolate his character from what we know of his behaviour, and above all from his actions, wrote The Times.

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