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Starring: Matt Damon, Adam Driver, Jodie Comer, Ben Affleck, Harriet Walter, Nathaniel Parker, Sam Hazeldine, Michael McElhatton
OUR RATING: ★★★★☆
Historical drama directed by Ridley Scott, with the screenplay written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon. Based on actual events, set in 14th century France, The Last Duel (2021) centers on the last sanctioned duel between Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), two friends turned bitter rivals. When Carrouges wife, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), is viciously assaulted by Le Gris, a charge he denies, she refuses to stay silent, stepping forward to accuse her attacker, an act of bravery and defiance that puts her life in jeopardy. The ensuing trial by combat, a grueling duel to the death, places the fate of all three in God’s hands.
Our Favorite Quotes:'The debt we owe to our friends is the greatest of all.' - Jacques Le Gris (The Last Duel) Click To Tweet
Chapter One – “The truth according to Jean de Carrouges”
Jacques Le Gris: [to Carrouges, after the Battle of Limoges] You saved my life today. Thank you.
Carrouges Gate Keeper: Declare yourself.
Jacques Le Gris: It is I. Helen of Troy.
Jacques Le Gris: I am your friend. And there are many others like me who would prefer you not perish.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: I don’t embark on this campaign recklessly. I don’t embark on it just to fight.
Jacques Le Gris: Then why?
Sir Jean de Carrouges: Jacques, I am broke. I need money.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: [referring to Marguerite] What a beauty.
Crespin: She is a de Thibouville? Yes. Her name is even older than yours. She’s his only daughter. There’s a dowry to be had. Of course, a man would have to bear the mark of her father’s disgrace. I don’t imagine one would suffer too greatly at the task of producing an heir.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: [at their wedding] I’m a very jealous man, milady. Tonight, you are mine and will dance with no other.
Marguerite de Carrouges: And every night hereafter.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: My love, I have bled for this king. He knows of me. I may have more power than you think.
Marguerite de Carrouges: I know how powerful you are.
Nicole de Carrouges: Why did you have to sue the count for a piece of land? Just to impress your bride.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: That land was promised to me. It was an appeal.
Nicole de Carrouges: And now, you’ve made an enemy of Count Pierre!
Sir Jean de Carrouges: It was right.
Nicole de Carrouges: Right. There’s no right. There is only the power of men. You sued him, and you’ve made a powerful enemy.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: [as he’s leaving for his military campaign] This is what I do. Let me provide for you.
Marguerite de Carrouges: And what of you?
Sir Jean de Carrouges: I have all that I need.
Marguerite de Carrouges: Except an heir.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: My love. It comes as God wills it.
Marguerite de Carrouges: [after confirming that she was left with no servants] Shortly after, a man came unannounced. I knew the man, so I let him in. But he was not alone. And he attacked me. He pinned me down, I protested. I screamed, I cried out as best I could, but there was no one here. I was overpowered. There was nothing I could do.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: Who? Who did this? Who?
Marguerite de Carrouges: Jacques Le Gris.
Marguerite de Carrouges: Jean, I want him to answer for what he has done.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: And he will. He will.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: I request a duel to the death.
King Charles VI: This custom was outlawed years ago.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: Not so, Your Grace.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: One of us has lied. Let us let God decide.
King’s Uncle: Sir Jean, if you lose this duel, thus proving these accusations false, your wife would suffer dire consequences.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: God will spare those who tell the truth. And the truth will prevail. I am not afraid.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: I present myself, Jean de Carrouges, knight, as an appellant in your court, and hereby do accuse this squire of a most foul crime against my wife, the Lady Marguerite de Carrouges. I charge that during the third week of this January past, this same Jacques Le Gris did feloniously and carnally take my wife against her will in our house. And if this said Jacques Le Gris denies his crime, I stand ready to prove my charge by my body against his, and to render him dead at an appointed time.
Chapter Two – “The truth according to Jacques Le Gris”
Pierre d’Alençon: [referring to Carrouges] He disobeyed me and let Limoges fall.
Jacques Le Gris: He believed he would succeed. His intentions were good.
Pierre d’Alençon: He’s no f***ing fun. You mean, you’d like to see more of his gloom here in Argentan? He postures and mopes about like a black cloud.
Jacques Le Gris: [referring to Carrouges] Milord, I have fought with him and seen the worst of this world with him. He is loyal.
Pierre d’Alençon: Yeah. So are my f***ing hounds. As you wish. Take your leave. Do as you like. I think very little of his character. However, I think a great deal of yours. It’s the quality that most recommends you. But do not let your loyalty blind you.
Jacques Le Gris: [translating form the The Book of Love] “Nothing prevents a woman from being loved by two men. Or a man from being loved by two women.”
Pierre d’Alençon: Life is good.
Jacques Le Gris: The wolves have not slept either. Your wife will awaken soon, milord. Best be in there when she does.
Pierre d’Alençon: Pregnant and hysterical. I prefer to take my chances with the wolves.
Pierre d’Alençon: So, tell me, squire, how does a man of war become so learned in letters?
Jacques Le Gris: I was born with neither a name nor wealth. I prepared for a life in the church. The requirements did not suit me.
Pierre d’Alençon: No, no. A libertine after my own heart.
Jacques Le Gris: That always came to me easily.
'There's no right. There is only the power of men.' - Nicole de Carrouges (The Last Duel) Click To Tweet
Jacques Le Gris: Jean de Carrouges has filed a lawsuit for a piece of property.
Pierre d’Alençon: Why would he sue you for a piece of property?
Jacques Le Gris: Because you gave it to me. He’s suing you too. He’s suing us both. I fail to see the amusement here, milord. How do you sue for that which was never yours?
Pierre d’Alençon: Will you finally submit that I was right about Jean de Carrouges?
Pierre d’Alençon: Good God, man, tell me you’re not here to sue me again.
Jacques Le Gris: Mock me, if you may, but you cannot change right from wrong nor wrong from right.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: Here, as a man of honor, you say I am not the captain? You say to me I am not the captain here?!
Pierre d’Alençon: I say to you whatever I like. I decide who is the captain at Belleme.
Sir Jean de Carrouges: [referring to Le Gris] That is what you prize. That. That sycophant. Sycophants all! I will sue! I will sue you for this!
Pierre d’Alençon: In just three years, you’ve managed to marry a traitor’s daughter, sue me for land that never belonged to you, and to stand before me for the second time in as many years, threatening once again to sue, all while speaking of duty and honor. This is how you serve me?
Sir Jean de Carrouges: I serve the king. The king. The king. Heaven and earth!
Pierre d’Alençon: Heaven and earth what?
Jacques Le Gris: [referring to Carrouges] It’s time to heal this wound.
Pierre d’Alençon: He will never change. Why even try?
Jacques Le Gris: Because a feud between your lordship’s vassals brings naught but trouble and distraction.
Pierre d’Alençon: You will get to see the mysterious wife. Apparently, he’s letting her out of the dungeon for one time only. One can only hope he hasn’t taken away her books.
Jacques Le Gris: Carrouges wife reads?
Pierre d’Alençon: In as many languages as you do, I’m told.
Jacques Le Gris: Strange match.
Pierre d’Alençon: It is. Will wonders never cease?
Pierre d’Alençon: Your decency will be the end of you.
Jacques Le Gris: And there is no end to my decency.
Jacques Le Gris: It’s a shame we had not met until tonight.
Marguerite de Carrouges: Is it?
Jacques Le Gris: I had no idea what a lucky man Carrouges was for having such a beautiful wife.
Marguerite de Carrouges: From what I have heard, you have no trouble acquiring beautiful women.
Adam Louvel: [as Le Gris watches Marguerite] To even think is to covet, my lord.
Jacques Le Gris: No less sinful than her coveting me.