The Last Duel
TW: Sexual Assault
The Last Duel was a risky move for Ridley Scott, as medieval films rarely do well in the box office. While it ended up struggling in the box office, The Last Duel still paid off creatively as one of the best films in his already illustrious filmography. A story told from three different perspectives about Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), who accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of sexual assault, leading to a judicial duel between him and Marguerite’s husband, Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon). Beyond the overall excellent performances and brutal production design, The Last Duel subtly plays off the different perspectives in ways that inform their characters. The way each character sees the series of events shows us who they are and how they see Marguerite, whether as a wife that needs protecting, a wife that should be grateful for her protection, a prize to be earned, or just as a person. A single line of dialogue ends up having multiple meanings with only a slight change in inflection. This filming technique wasn’t just a gimmick; instead, it informed the film’s overall thesis about believing victims of sexual assault. The Last Duel is an intense, topical film that’s not for everybody, but it’s a rewarding, powerful experience that deserves more attention.
You can read about the press conference from Knockturnal contributor Antonio Pinheiro here