Last Duel, The: Female Point of View–Jodie Comer

Cinema 2021: Strong Women–Last Duel

The Last Duel Parallel Mothers Passing
Last Duel: 20th Century Studios; Parallel Mothers: Sony Pictures Classics; Passing: Netflix

Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel story is told from three perspectives: that of a knight (Matt Damon’s Sir Jean de Carrouges), his wife (Jodie Comer) and his ex-friend, whom she accuses of rape (Adam Driver’s Jacques Le Gris).

“The thing about the perspective is it has to be so subtle,” Comer says. “The change has to be so minor in order for it to work correctly.”

She mentions a scene in which Marguerite meets Le Gris before the attack. Gathered at a party, Damon’s Carrouges encourages (or perhaps orders) his bride to kiss his estranged friend.

“It was very clear that, in her husband’s story, this is just the formality and you are expected to do as I tell you,” Comer says, while Le Gris “feels an immediate connection and she is instigating an openness.” When, in reality, Comer says Marguerite feels how most every woman in such a situation, that “This is absurd and I am not comfortable, and I am not OK with it.”

As if that continuality wasn’t challenging enough for a performer, Comer says one of the hardest scenes to film was the one with the linchpin to the tail: when Marguerite tells her husband that this man, with whom he already has a testy relationship, has forced himself into their home and on her.

“The most challenging part of this script was … always wanting to make sure that Marguerite’s truth was very clear and told so then I could feel comfortable in kind of giving the male characters what it is that they need in order for their story to ring true,” Comer says of the Ridley Scott film, and co-written by Damon with Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener.

This meant not matching the energy that Damon let off when his character is, justifiably, outraged of learning of his wife’s attack. In this scene, Marguerite is soft-spoken and softly crying as she knows that sharing this information is a lot harder than staying quiet.