Anytime Ridley Scott has a new film coming out, I get excited. His quite incredible career spanning the likes of Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, American Gangster and The Martian. Even when his films are the best, a couple of years later he hits again and you know he always has it in him to knock it out of the park. Mix Scott’s talent with a script written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, something we haven’t seen since their Oscar win for Good Will Hunting in 97, and the extremely talented Jodie Comer and always incredible Adam Driver, is a recipe for one of the best of the year.
The film is a story about the last duel that took place in France in the 14th Century between two former friends (played by Matt Damon and Adam Driver), one of whom is accused of raping the others wife (Jodie Comer).
If you weren’t sold by the first paragraph of this review then how about if I told you it was a crime film set in the middle ages! The unique story telling mixed with the setting is something I’ve never seen before and is so perfectly done. The film is split into three parts, the first being the point of view of Jean de Carrouges, the second Jacques Le Gris and the final, being the truth, from Lady Marguerite. Each act is perfectly paced to keep you interested and gives you more, each time rewarding the audience. So, shout out to the award winning writing of Damon and Affleck, who were joined by Nicole Holofcener, who I think could very well be in the discussion come award season in early 2022.
There are subtle differences between the performances from the actors in each of the sections, when you see a scene differently which is perfectly done and initially has the audience guessing and trying to work out what really happened before it is revealed in the final section. Adam Driver and Jodie Comer give the strongest performances from the film. I’ve been a fan of Adam Driver for a while, his fame obviously came from his role in the sequel trilogy of Star Wars, and has been consistently great. I firmly believe he would’ve won an Oscar for his performance in Marriage Story if it wasn’t for Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in Joker. It’s hard to say this is one of his best performances just because he is always at the top and deserves to be in discussion come award season. But if anyone steals the film it’s Jodie Comer. She gained award success and attention from the world with her performance as Villanelle in Killing Eve, and has already had success breaking into Hollywood with her role in Free Guy, but her performance in this film will really wake up anyone who wasn’t paying attention to her already. I expected strong performances from Driver and Comer, but Affleck was one of the most fun parts of the film. He is clearly have a good time in his role, something to the extent we haven’t seen from him in a while.
The Last Duel is one of the best of the year from a technical point of view, as well as for all audiences. It’s definitely not as bloody as I was expecting but the context of the story, can make it a challenging watch at times, but with the subject of who to believe in a #metoo world, it’s a powerful story that is knocked out the park but some of the best and most talented people in the movie making industry.
What did you think of The Last Duel?
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