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stromboni
Dec 22, 2008


Did anyone else see this? No? Ok

Spoilers allowed, because the movie follows historical events that are 600 years old


STARRING

Mullet Damon

as an illiterate moron

Heartthrob Adam Driver

as a literate rapist

Blonde Affleck

as an absolute freak. Just look at this wannabe-Targaryen freak. He spends most of the movie having orgies and every line he delivers made me laugh

Killing Eve

as the Put-Upon Woman, a girlboss before her time, beset by the toxic masculinity of the 1300s


You probably had to be a huge movie nerd to even know this movie was released. A "follows their favorite film critics on Letterboxd" level nerd. The rest of the world only learned this movie existed after demented boomer Ridley Scott made Twitter headlines by blaming the box office flop on those loving millennials and their phones. I tried to use my phone to locate a theater that was playing this movie, but there wasn't one within 50 miles



The Last Duel tells the story behind the last legally-sanctioned duel in France, held between a knight and his best-frenemy, to determine the validity of his wife's rape accusation. lol can you believe how justice used to be handled? Good thing our modern system now works properly and makes total sense! Told in three different perspectives, the movie has been compared to Rashomon by people who never saw Rashomon but equate it to absolutely any story that uses multiple perspectives.

Despite its length and heavy subject matter (content warning: graphic rape!), most of this movie is actually quite watchable and entertaining. It's a talky drama, but it's got plenty of scenes of grimy men with dirty faces stabbing each other in the mud. It all leads up to the titular duel, which loving rocks. Seriously the duel is great, it's like the movie is rewarding you for making it through the dour third act (which I liked, but I wouldn't argue with you if you found it too obvious and hard to get through). Besides, for me it's just a joy to see a modern movie filmed on real locations with practical sets and castles and swords. Ridley Scott may be an addled old weirdo who churns out trash in between his milk baths, but when it comes to medieval stabbing-based dramas, he hasn't lost a step

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Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



I have to say, I was rather leery about the movie's premise for about half of the runtime. I kept worrying it would do some garbage "did it happen or didn't it? :iiam:" copout or something like that.

But it didn't! The third act really tied it together in a satisfying way and avoided the pitfalls I was concerned about. And apart from that, it was also a good time! Both Damon's and Driver's characters are entertaining to watch despite and/or because of being horrendous people. And as a dumb nerd, I did appreciate that they made a solid effort in making the combat look pretty historic and realistic.

bobby2times
Jan 9, 2010


Strange movie that felt like a comedy until the third act.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Really enjoyed this. Everyone was so busy talking about how the excellent themes and structure that nobody I saw before I watched it had mentioned how loving awesome the actual duel was. It was so cool

pissinthewind
Nov 11, 2021


I really felt like this was a "look at how much better things are these days guys, really" puff piece topped off with a "if you can't get that at least watch us beat each other to death in the mud" spectacle. It feels like it wants to say something, but doesn't want to draw the criticism that comes along with that.

NotJustANumber99
Feb 15, 2012



the best bit was the matt damon died on the way back to his home planet text at the end

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004



pissinthewind posted:

I really felt like this was a "look at how much better things are these days guys, really" puff piece topped off with a "if you can't get that at least watch us beat each other to death in the mud" spectacle. It feels like it wants to say something, but doesn't want to draw the criticism that comes along with that.

Except that what was depicted in this movie, is still true to this day. The Last Dual is just as much a critique of modern day society as it is of the time period it takes place in.

Roth
Jul 9, 2016



pissinthewind posted:

I really felt like this was a "look at how much better things are these days guys, really" puff piece topped off with a "if you can't get that at least watch us beat each other to death in the mud" spectacle. It feels like it wants to say something, but doesn't want to draw the criticism that comes along with that.

I mean the ultimate point of the movie is that the victim of the rape is the only one telling the actual truth, and I don't think the people working on this movie think Rape Culture is a solved issue.

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004



The more I think about this movie tonight, the more I am sure this is my favorite film of the year. This had so many complicated layers to it, and its going to take a long time really think through the whole thing. I only just watched it tonight, but went away feeling like I saw one of Scotts best films, and that is extremely high praise since I put Alien, and Blade Runner as two of the best movies ever made.

LemonLimeSoda
Jan 23, 2020


The first third, I was hesitant and bored but once the movie reeled me in (Matt Damon and his hairstyle really took me out of the medieval France setting) it REALLY reeled me in
Wonderful movie & yes to whoever mentioned the actual duel
I never really considered just how brutal and gruesome jousting really was

Tiitane is my favorite movie this year so far but this was one of my biggest surprises

Not sure if everyone knew this but this is apparently the first movie Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have written together since Good Will Hunting

LemonLimeSoda fucked around with this message at 06:58 on Dec 3, 2021

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004



Escobarbarian posted:

Really enjoyed this. Everyone was so busy talking about how the excellent themes and structure that nobody I saw before I watched it had mentioned how loving awesome the actual duel was. It was so cool

I feel so conflicted about the actual dual itself. On the surface, it was just really great to watch, it was so intense, and violent, and Scott got all of the camera shots right, the editing was perfect, and it was very historically accurate and brutal. On the other hand, the duel itself, the context behind why it happens in the first place; is horrible, and a warning to everyone.

Womp
Feb 21, 2011


Still not really sure whats up with Drivers part of the story.

Like his truth had the longer kiss at their first meeting, the flirting and earlier consensual sex, and all his talk about love but the actual sex he shows is still rape.

So what does he think happened there? I feel like he could've safely told Affleck that he raped her but idk if I read his denials as him lying or believing himself innocent.

:shrug:

Perestroika
Apr 8, 2010



Womp posted:

Still not really sure whats up with Drivers part of the story.

Like his truth had the longer kiss at their first meeting, the flirting and earlier consensual sex, and all his talk about love but the actual sex he shows is still rape.

So what does he think happened there? I feel like he could've safely told Affleck that he raped her but idk if I read his denials as him lying or believing himself innocent.

:shrug:

As he somewhat alluded to in his talk with Affleck, he believed that Marguerite only fought back for propriety's sake and was actually totally into it. To what degree he actually believed it as opposed to using it as a justification to himself is somewhat left up to the viewer, but he seemed fairly genuine about that belief. He certainly seemed self-absorbed enough to believe that. And it's still a shockingly common justification used by rapists to this day.

stromboni
Dec 22, 2008


I was glad at how that was handled. The telling from Adam Driver’s perspective is very clearly still a rape (even though he does not notice the full extent of the anguish we later see on her face), but he also seems to truly believe it wasn’t. Notice how similar it is to the earlier scene we see of him having sex that is portrayed as consensual - he goes through the same motions, lifting the woman over his shoulders as she shrieks and kicks, having claimed her as his “spoils”, before tossing her on the bed as he is cheered on by everyone else there

I think that’s essential to what the movie is saying. A rapist doesn’t somehow perceive a different reality. The entire point is that they SHOULD be able to see what they are doing is wrong, but it’s what they’ve been taught that tells them it’s okay. How many knights were treated to courtly songs and dances in honor of their chivalry and virtue, after they returned home from violent bloody campaigns of raping and burning?

stromboni fucked around with this message at 17:29 on Dec 3, 2021

Admiral Bosch
Apr 19, 2007
Who is Admiral Aken Bosch, and what is that old scoundrel up to?

excellent movie that i will probably never watch again, rape sucks

Blood Boils
Dec 27, 2006

Its not an S, on my planet it means QUIPS


^^yeah from Le Gris' pov he's only committing adultery.

Great film, definitely one of Scott's best historicals. Probably the 2nd best I've seen in theatres this year, after green knight!


pissinthewind posted:

I really felt like this was a "look at how much better things are these days guys, really" puff piece topped off with a "if you can't get that at least watch us beat each other to death in the mud" spectacle. It feels like it wants to say something, but doesn't want to draw the criticism that comes along with that.

It's not saying that. It's saying that women are raped all the time and face enormous and potentially fatal consequences if they don't stay silent about it, that men are generally disinclined to believe women and if they do it's all about how it effects themselves, and that rapists don't really conceive of themselves as having done any harm.


bobby2times posted:

Strange movie that felt like a comedy until the third act.

Well it is really funny the way people perceive themselves vs how others perceive them. Like does De Carrouges' bravery stem from his sense of honour or is he heedless of danger because he's an idiot?

I said come in!
Jun 22, 2004



I wonder if another artistic direction to go, that might have been better actually, is if we don't see the rape scene at all but instead are left to just believe Marguerite, since the movie otherwise makes it very obvious she is telling the truth.

NotJustANumber99
Feb 15, 2012



Womp posted:

Still not really sure whats up with Drivers part of the story.

Like his truth had the longer kiss at their first meeting, the flirting and earlier consensual sex, and all his talk about love but the actual sex he shows is still rape.

So what does he think happened there? I feel like he could've safely told Affleck that he raped her but idk if I read his denials as him lying or believing himself innocent.

:shrug:

The earlier consensual sex was a dream yeah? Which is a bit cheeky.

I'd need to see it again, but its the only way it makes sense as how on earth would she be allowed to wander around freely and have sex with someone else in the castle full of massive dickheads?

Also he sort of wakes up and goes "zoinks... it was all a dream!" no?

And never mentions it in any of the other courtcasey bits?

battlepigeon
Aug 3, 2008



drat! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time during the duel. Just spectacular!

Blood Boils
Dec 27, 2006

Its not an S, on my planet it means QUIPS


NotJustANumber99 posted:

The earlier consensual sex was a dream yeah? Which is a bit cheeky.

I'd need to see it again, but its the only way it makes sense as how on earth would she be allowed to wander around freely and have sex with someone else in the castle full of massive dickheads?

Also he sort of wakes up and goes "zoinks... it was all a dream!" no?

And never mentions it in any of the other courtcasey bits?

What are you talking about

This sounds like you haven't seen the movie

Gresh
Jan 12, 2019



I was one of the 12 people who saw this in a movie theater back in October and I just watched it again on VOD and its still as great as I remember it. Everyone is really good in it, especially Jodie Comer and Ben Affleck as a douche horny lord. As expected with Ridley Scott, the film looks incredible from the costumes, cinematography(seriously, some of the candle lit castle interiors and cackling fireplace scenes were just beautiful), production design, etc. I watched that Netflix movie THE KING the other day with the DUNE guy in it and I seriously laughed out loud at how fake, clean, and plastic all the medieval armor in that movie looked, especially compared to something like this. Speaking of medieval armor, its so nice seeing a movie that really treats plate armor like the metal that it is rather than the useless cosmetic tissue paper its so often portrayed as... here swords are bouncing off of breastplates and the plate armor on their arms and hands are used to block blows and it was glorious.

Major Major Major
Apr 23, 2014


Blood Boils posted:

What are you talking about

This sounds like you haven't seen the movie

He's talking about the brief scene where she comes up to his room and he begins to kiss her against the wall and then wakes up from a dream in his bed covered in sweat. Maybe you blinked during the scene.

Blood Boils
Dec 27, 2006

Its not an S, on my planet it means QUIPS


Major Major Major posted:

He's talking about the brief scene where she comes up to his room and he begins to kiss her against the wall and then wakes up from a dream in his bed covered in sweat. Maybe you blinked during the scene.

Oh right, lol my bad

Stairmaster
Jun 8, 2012

nope just me lain


Major Major Major posted:

He's talking about the brief scene where she comes up to his room and he begins to kiss her against the wall and then wakes up from a dream in his bed covered in sweat. Maybe you blinked during the scene.

It wasn't just sweat

Womp
Feb 21, 2011


I had read it as he woke up and she had gone back to her room/Matt Damon (they were all staying in the same castle unless I'm totally misremembering?) but yeah dream would make sense.

Gresh
Jan 12, 2019




anatomi
Jan 31, 2015

A quick little mouse!


I liked it. The editing was a bit jarring in the first act and I really didn't care for Affleck's performance, though it was nice to see him have fun.

Most of the outdoor scenes looked fake as hell to me. But the indoor shots were gorgeous.

The movie handled the subject matter surprisingly well and I loved that it didn't give the stories of de Carrouges and le Gris any credence in comparison to Marguerite's.

The characterization of the tertiary characters particularly shone, I think. The opposite personalities of the king and queen, the cynical monk, le Gris' malicious squire, de Carrouge's bitter mother.

Speaking of: I really appreciated that it was never shown outright that she tipped off le Gris that Marguerite would be alone.

NotJustANumber99
Feb 15, 2012



Womp posted:

Still not really sure whats up with Drivers part of the story.

Like his truth had the longer kiss at their first meeting, the flirting and earlier consensual sex, and all his talk about love but the actual sex he shows is still rape.

So what does he think happened there? I feel like he could've safely told Affleck that he raped her but idk if I read his denials as him lying or believing himself innocent.

:shrug:

Sorry to quote you again, I know you already replied to my earlier point and I'm not trying to have a go, just I did a piss poor job of replying earlier so I'm sort of still replying to this point... But...

Like I'm sure you already got this and I'm telling you something you already know, but the framing of the rape scene where he chases her around, explains his actions/flirts(massive asterisk), grabs her, picks her up and takes her to the bed exactly mirroring the earlier scene in which he does the same to some "willing" lady at his mates orgy and is celebrated for it by everyone present and it isn't considered weird so it's evidently normal, is I guess the pretty blunt demonstration of the point that, otherwise good men (as driver's character is presented) can be corrupted and conditioned to do awful things by a system that lets them and infact rewards them for doing so.

It's interesting that Damon and Affleck were pretty connected to Harvey Weinstein and I'd really enjoy someone smart unpacking that a bit for me.

MLSM
Apr 3, 2021



anatomi posted:

Most of the outdoor scenes looked fake as hell to me.

:wtc:

Perhaps you should clean the semen from your eyes before watching it again?

anatomi
Jan 31, 2015

A quick little mouse!


I think they were going for a painterly look, like baroque scapes, in these wide outdoor shots — which shows clearly in the screengrabs someone posted earlier. I found them pretty but artificial, like overly processed composite images.

I'm sorry (?) if this causes you to picture even more semen-to-eye imagery.

ButtHate
Sep 26, 2007


NotJustANumber99 posted:

.
Like I'm sure you already got this and I'm telling you something you already know, but the framing of the rape scene where he chases her around, explains his actions/flirts(massive asterisk), grabs her, picks her up and takes her to the bed exactly mirroring the earlier scene in which he does the same to some "willing" lady at his mates orgy and is celebrated for it by everyone present and it isn't considered weird so it's evidently normal, is I guess the pretty blunt demonstration of the point that, otherwise good men (as driver's character is presented) can be corrupted and conditioned to do awful things by a system that lets them and infact rewards them for doing so.

Imo I don't think Drivers character was an otherwise good man at any point during the movie.
He was an egoistic toady. When his charming did not work, he in the end took what he wanted at every opportunity: the land, the job and the wife.
He wasn't only conditioned by the system, he was an integral part of the system. That's why he had the unconditional backing of the clergy and his liege lord.

His self-centeredness is probably a common trait among rapists and also his downfall. Because of his vanity, he rejects to join the clergy. And because of his inflated opinion of himself, he thinks he can take on a veteran killer in combat.

Damons character was stupid, brutal and vain.
But he accurately assessed that he would not have won a normal court case by presenting facts, because the system was stacked against him and especially his wife.
He played to his strengths.

Mola Yam
Jun 18, 2004

Kali Ma Shakti de!


Hey so in the bottom right scene, why was Matt Damon coughing up a lung in his version, but totally fine in Marguerite's version? Felt significant but I had no idea why.

PeterCat
Apr 8, 2020

Believe women.


Mola Yam posted:

Hey so in the bottom right scene, why was Matt Damon coughing up a lung in his version, but totally fine in Marguerite's version? Felt significant but I had no idea why.

Might have been something that was significant to him but maybe it wasn't actually that big a deal? Or she just didn't notice because she was pre-occupied with other things?

I did enjoy how Damon was able to play the character 3 different ways. Once as pragmatic warrior who gets hosed over, one as loudmouth dipshit, one as cruel, prideful, man who's more worried about himself than his wife. I also could not believe the utter callousness of insisting his wife has sex with him right after telling him she had been raped. It was like she was raped twice, and all because he couldn't stand the thought of Driver being the last man to have been with his wife.

I did not feel that Driver was much different in each version though. It also felt like the King of France got off on the idea of a duel, but it was more hinted at that he wasn't right in the head rather than outright stated.

PeterCat fucked around with this message at 06:45 on Dec 5, 2021

Blood Boils
Dec 27, 2006

Its not an S, on my planet it means QUIPS


Yeah that's Charles VI, aka "Charles the Mad"

Irl Carrouges was rewarded after the duel with membership into the king's bodyguard and was present for his first psychotic break and helped to restrain him

boo boo bear
Oct 1, 2009

I'm COMPLETELY OBSESSED with SEXY EGGS

Gresh posted:

Speaking of medieval armor, its so nice seeing a movie that really treats plate armor like the metal that it is rather than the useless cosmetic tissue paper its so often portrayed as... here swords are bouncing off of breastplates and the plate armor on their arms and hands are used to block blows and it was glorious.

in the scotland ambush, you can see an arrow spark off one of his pauldrons and the magnificent mullet doesn't even flinch.

PeterCat
Apr 8, 2020

Believe women.


Blood Boils posted:

Yeah that's Charles VI, aka "Charles the Mad"

Irl Carrouges was rewarded after the duel with membership into the king's bodyguard and was present for his first psychotic break and helped to restrain him

Doing some reading about Charles VI. The parties that Ben Lannister got up to weren't that far off the mark:

wiki posted:

On 29 January 1393, a masked ball, which later became known as the Bal des Ardents ("Ball of the Burning Men"), had been organized by Isabeau of Bavaria to celebrate the wedding of one of her ladies-in-waiting at the Hôtel Saint-Pol. At the suggestion of Huguet de Guisay, the king and four other lords[14] dressed up as wild men and they were dancing around. They were dressed "in costumes of linen cloth sewn onto their bodies and soaked in resinous wax or pitch to hold a covering of frazzled hemp, so that they appeared shaggy & hairy from head to foot".[15] At the suggestion of one Yvain de Foix, the king commanded that the torch-bearers were to stand at the side of the room. Nonetheless, the king's brother Louis I, Duke of Orléans, who had arrived late, approached with a lighted torch in order to discover the identity of the masqueraders, and accidentally set one of them on fire. There was panic as the flames spread. The Duchess of Berry threw the train of her gown over the king in order to protect him.[16] Several knights who tried to put out the flames were severely burned. Four of the wild men perished: Charles de Poitiers, son of the Count of Valentinois; Huguet de Guisay; Yvain de Foix; and the Count of Joigny. Another – Jean, son of the Lord of Nantouillet – saved himself by jumping into a dishwater tub.[17]

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anatomi
Jan 31, 2015

A quick little mouse!


The Aristocrats.

Darko
Dec 23, 2004



ButtHate posted:

Imo I don't think Drivers character was an otherwise good man at any point during the movie.
He was an egoistic toady. When his charming did not work, he in the end took what he wanted at every opportunity: the land, the job and the wife.
He wasn't only conditioned by the system, he was an integral part of the system. That's why he had the unconditional backing of the clergy and his liege lord.

His self-centeredness is probably a common trait among rapists and also his downfall. Because of his vanity, he rejects to join the clergy. And because of his inflated opinion of himself, he thinks he can take on a veteran killer in combat.

Damons character was stupid, brutal and vain.
But he accurately assessed that he would not have won a normal court case by presenting facts, because the system was stacked against him and especially his wife.
He played to his strengths.

He was "good" from his own perspective. He was taking up for Damon, a fun guy to be around, and just happened to be "in love" with a woman who "got him" that was just with the wrong guy. It ties into the "everyone is a hero in their own mind" thing and puts you in the mindset of a rapist for a minute. If you forget for a minute that he's lying, as I allowed myself to because I didn't think this was a "women be lying movie" he comes off kind of good. That's wiped out by the other perspectives combined with what actually happened in his own, though.

I as surprised by just how much I liked this movie. I expected it to be dumb for some reason, even with Scott behind it, and the 3rd act really pulled me in.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

🪐Exploration is ill-advised 🥴




PeterCat posted:

Doing some reading about Charles VI. The parties that Ben Lannister got up to weren't that far off the mark:



Love that the medieval painting expressions make it look like the audience is like 'Oooh, this is a hell of an act'.

Come to think of it, being down for an excuse to have a public fight to the death long after the practice had been all but outlawed is possibly what we call an early warning sign.

Also funny that the movie points out that both of the main characters are squires well into adulthood and Matt Damon is knighted as already a veteran warrior, and it's implied it's not taken all that seriously anymore, and doesn't even get into that the real life basis of Adam Driver's character was given a knighthood right before the duel so it would be a legal duel between equals in rank. Not sure if it's meant to be played up that the whole idea of a knightly warrior is already considered old-fashioned and outdated at the time, where Adam Driver being a literate, numerate and generally competent squire who helps his lord with the paperwork makes him genuinely useful and respected, as well as being fun at parties.


PeterCat posted:

Might have been something that was significant to him but maybe it wasn't actually that big a deal? Or she just didn't notice because she was pre-occupied with other things?

I did enjoy how Damon was able to play the character 3 different ways. Once as pragmatic warrior who gets hosed over, one as loudmouth dipshit, one as cruel, prideful, man who's more worried about himself than his wife. I also could not believe the utter callousness of insisting his wife has sex with him right after telling him she had been raped. It was like she was raped twice, and all because he couldn't stand the thought of Driver being the last man to have been with his wife.

I did not feel that Driver was much different in each version though. It also felt like the King of France got off on the idea of a duel, but it was more hinted at that he wasn't right in the head rather than outright stated.

Isn't that right after he's returned from the disastrous Scotland campaign? Seems likely he's caught a cold and that's occupying him a lot more than other people. And also the type to be a baby about it.

Also probably helps that the character can be all three of those things. He's also shown to be a poor steward of his lands, micromanaging the stables while neglecting to actually collect the rent, contrasted with his friend-turned-rival's prosperity and competence. No wonder it's the other guy who gets honours and awards heaped on him, he actually knows what to do with them rather than just being a reasonably competent soldier.

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Nightmare Cinema
Apr 4, 2020

No.

Can't wait for Scott's adaptation of Final Fantasy Tactics.

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