The complication is this. And since Sir Robert is one of those debtors, Le Gris pressures him into giving the count that very piece of land. As part of the marital agreement, de Carougges has asked Marguerite’s father, Sir Robert (Nathaniel Parker), to add to her dowry a valuable piece of land. The count, grateful to Le Gris, then offers him the land as a gift. But Le Gris, who is good friends with Count Pierre d'Alençon, the king’s cousin and overseer of Normandy (he’s played by Affleck as a platinum-blond aristocrat with a smirk of contempt), has been entrusted with the task of gathering all the debts the count is owed.
He’s played by Damon in a 14th-century mullet, with a sprout of beard that makes him look Amish and a spidery scar on his right check. That makes him sound like a figure of commanding nobility, and he is. Yet Damon, who has played surly sociopaths but has never looked this dour onscreen, also makes de Carougges a righteous scold, a man of such rigidly imposed sincerity and honor that he’s not exactly the life of the party. De Carougges, as befitting his name, is a sternly bravely squire devoted to the higher loyalties; he believes he exists to serve France, to serve the king, to serve God. The first section is told from the vantage of Jean de Carrouges, a righteous soldier of the king — he's not yet a knight but will soon become one — who’s a fearless, relentless warrior, with the wounds to prove it.
And that would be played out. What’s appealing about "The Last Duel" is that it's actually, at heart, a rather old-fashioned movie: talky and intricate, spinning around what looks like a competitive, destructive love triangle. If this story had been made by Hollywood during the studio-system era, one could envision a version of it in which de Carrouges, the uptight devoted good guy, fails to strike the sparks with his wife that Le Gris, the charismatic scoundrel, does. But only moments. What’s odd about it is that it lacks the satisfying dramatic clarity of an old movie. There are moments when "The Last Duel" seems like that very movie.
Far looser and more charismatic, if not as selfless in his outlook, is Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), who with his goatee and flowing dark hair has a d’Artagnanesque rock-star élan about him. These two, who will wind up fatal enemies in that fateful title duel, start off as friends and comrades, with a vibe of hale-fellow-well-met valor. The match has been made according to patriarchal codes both characters take for granted, and we’re eager to see if some feeling will flood between the cracks. It is, of course, love that knocks the friendship askew, though maybe not in quite the way we expect. As the film presents it, it’s literally a courtly arrangement, almost a business proposition, though Damon, who has spent most of his career avoiding romantic roles, and Jodie Comer, with a luminous gaze of demure intelligence, don’t act as if they don’t belong together. De Carrouges has glimpsed a nobleman’s beautiful daughter, Marguerite (Jodie Comer), and asked for her hand in marriage.
But no. Despite a brief action interlude here or there, Ridley Scott’s "The Last Duel" is set in France in the late 1300s, and after a clangingly violent early battle scene, as well as a flashforward to the title duel, in which a pair of sworn rivals in heavy armor come at each other on horseback, each brandishing his lance a lot (sorry, I couldn’t resist), the film looks like it might be a swords-and-blood-in-the-mud movie: one of those flashy brutal period spectaculars which Scott, the director of "Gladiator" and "The Duellists," seems ideally suited to.
It’s about knowing enough not to ruffle the feathers of the boss, which de Carougges, in his moralistic pique, makes the mistake of doing. De Carrouges now faces a situation in which the land that was supposed to be his, nothing less than his marital reward, has been swiped from under his nose by his trusted comrade. It’s the extreme way de Carougges reacts to this that sets the film’s turbulence in motion. It will involve de Carrouges' wife, who happens to think Le Gris is quite handsome. "The Last Duel," while set 600 years ago, is, in its way, a drama of corporate politics. As for Le Gris, he finds a most treacherous way to undercut his friend.
Yet it’s also a movie that flirts with, and sometimes falls into, an extravagant kind of costume-drama camp. It presents, in succession, three different versions of the same tale, offering variations on the events from the point-of-view of each of the three central characters. It’s a catchy idea in theory, but a tricky one to bring off. If not, more becomes less. What's more, there’s a structural idiosyncrasy at the movie’s core. The acting teeters between the operatic and the overstated. "The Last Duel" presents itself as a puzzle told in three chapters (in each section, new pieces fall into place), and if done right the three versions will add up to more than the sum of their parts. The accents are all over the place. At times, it’s like watching "A Man for All Seasons" meets "Game of Thrones" with a soupçon of Monty Python.
There are entertaining bits throughout. But for a movie that’s attempting to immerse us in the reality of the Middle Ages, it’s jarring to see the plot hinge on the notion that in 14th-century France, it was considered universal wisdom that a woman couldn’t conceive a child unless she experienced sex in a highly pleasurable way. Talk about a notion that seems at once medieval, anachronistic, and more than a bit concocted. Jodie Comer makes her mark, holding the screen with a calm fire. The climactic duel, a re-enactment of the last one ever sanctioned in France, is certainly a slash-to-the-death rouser in that "Gladiator"-in-chain-mail way. And though it’s occasionally hard to distinguish the intentional from the unintentional awkwardness in Damon’s performance, it’s amusing to see him stray so willfully out of his comfort zone. Affleck plays the count as a supercilious, foul-mouthed libertine who likes to bed four women at once, and you feel how much fun the actor is having playing someone this piggish in his arrogance. Sort of like "The Last Duel."” />
But that would be a dicey thing to do in our era, so the film backs off from any ambiguity. The plot turns on an act of sexual assault, and in the second segment (told from Le Gris’s self-aggrandizing point-of-view), the movie flirts, however briefly, with treating that act the way that Kurosawa’s "Rashomon" did: with supreme ambiguity. But dramatically, it leaves it sort of just sitting there. By then you feel the wind going out of the movie’s sails. Then we get Marguerite's, which matches up entirely with de Carougges'. Then we get Le Gris’, which is just different enough to tease us. We get de Carrouges’ version of the events. Morally, that leaves it in good standing.
It’s based on a true story, and it tells that story in a way that’s at once heady and sensual, thorny and elemental, with a ribald royal decadence but also a plot that turns on such furrowed-brow real-world issues as debt and land rights. Written by the unlikely trio of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Nicole Holofcener (it’s the first script that Damon and Affleck have collaborated on since "Good Will Hunting" planted them at the epicenter of the indie-film universe), the movie is trying for something. For a while (roughly the first half), "The Last Duel" is an engrossing drama of ambition, romance, and political chicanery in Normandy under the "mad" reign of King Charles VI.

That’s all I can say, because that's it." It’s such a shame. "Kevin is such a talented and a terrifically gifted actor, and it's so sad. "I think it's very sad what happened to him," Plummer told Vanity Fair.
"They stayed and agreed to do it all over again," he said. "It's remarkable. All of this is remarkable."
20, are projected to cost millions. The film is still expected to open on Dec. 22, while the reshoots, which began on Nov.
Plummer said Scott called him last week to offer him the part.
Christopher Plummer has responded to the reveal that he will replace Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott's upcoming thriller "All the Money in the World." In the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Spacey, Sony and director Scott announced last week they would re-shoot several scenes where the actor was set to play billionaire John Paul Getty.
Paul Getty, who was reluctant to pay the $17 million ransom demanded by the kidnappers.” /> Paul Getty III, the rebellious teenage grandson of oil billionaire J. Written by David Scarpa, "All the Money in the World" centers on the 1973 kidnapping in Italy of J.
Paul Getty's lawyer, and Michelle Williams, the mother of kidnapped John Paul Getty III, also star in the movie, and Plummer confirmed the two will be involved with the reshoots. Mark Wahlberg, who plays J.
"Although the situation is very sad. I've got a role. I'm very saddened by what happened to Kevin, but what can I do? Ages ago I was in contention for [the role], way back. So I was familiar with it, and then Ridley came to me, and I agreed." It's starting all over again," Plummer said. And so I thought, that was it. "It's really not replacing [Spacey]. I admire Ridley Scott and I'm thrilled to be making a movie for him.

It’s the truth of fearlessly out-there, shoot-the-moon storytelling, a truth that represents the ultimate undermining of Hollywood blockbuster aesthetics: The stalwart all-American hero you’re seeing isn’t a hero at all but a grand illusion, a fake human, a walking hologram, an anti-movie star, an android program impersonating Harrison Ford. This is an idea that exerts an irresistible appeal to a certain breed of fanboy geek whose principal identification is with technology itself. Yet if you're a member of the "Blade Runner" conspiracy cult, the notion that Deckard is actually a replicant is the sci-fi equivalent of the second-gunman theory. It’s the "truth" the System couldn’t handle, and therefore snuffed out. According to this view, "Blade Runner" isn’t just a good sci-fi movie, it’s the brainiac future-shock art film that dared to buck the imperatives of the studio system.
Its storytelling longueurs have been inflated into the very signifiers of its artistry. Many of the film's fans, though, would violently disagree with that, and it’s here that we come to the metaphysical peculiarity of the "Blade Runner" phenomenon. It has become not just a movie but a symbol: the anti-"Star Wars." I remain a fan of "Blade Runner," but to be in the cult of "Blade Runner" is to celebrate the purity of its vision, and to join in a conspiracy theory about the forces that would obliterate that purity. Over the decades, the film has been embraced for its virtues, but also for what I would call its aura of virtue: its transcendental mystique — the fact that it now plays like the sci-fi blockbuster equivalent of slow food.
Roy yearns to continue his existence for no other reason than that he loves life. Hauer’s platinum punk dye job and Teutonic hauteur may make the character seem power-crazed, but in the end he's surprisingly moving; he has what may be the most haunting death scene in all of sci-fi. He’s an android who doesn’t want to stop dreaming. It’s Rutger Hauer’s Roy, the replicant who longs to go beyond his allotted lifespan. That's why the most haunting character in "Blade Runner" isn’t Harrison Ford’s Deckard.
The other metaphor that drives "Blade Runner" is, of course, the spectral notion of replicants, the theme of technology-made-flesh — an idea expressed in the haunting title of Philip K. The detective noir plot of "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is organized around replicants as a human-created threat to the species. But what gives the tale distinction is that the replicants, in spirit, are us. Dick's 1968 novel, "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Born in 1928, Dick was a writer who lived on the spectrum of schizophrenia, and he had paranoid antennae that could penetrate to the core of what the modern world was doing to us.
This, the movie says, isn’t your father’s "Blade Runner" — no, it’s the "Blade Runner" your father always longed to watch. Perhaps so. Yet it may also be a sign of the times that when you watch "Blade Runner 2049," all the things the movie is ostensibly about — the decay of our world, the mysteries of memory, whether Gosling’s K. dreams of his electric housekeeper — take a back seat to the film’s existence as a fetishistically overdeliberate art geek-out. Could it be a sign of how far we’ve come that a couple of major movie studios have given the go-ahead to a film this uncompromised? Now that it’s here, it will be fascinating to see whether the film can loom as large as the original or merely as a conspiracy demystified, a consummation that only heightens our nostalgia.” />
a replicant is the film’s answer to the Deckard conspiracy theory, its way of saying, "Look, we’re really doing it! The whole idea of making Ryan Gosling’s K. Making the hero a man of implanted thought and feeling." And the film’s languid-to-a-fault narrative strategy (in his Variety review, Peter Debruge compared it, astutely, to an Andrei Tarkovsky film) is its way of staying true to — and upping the ante on — the non-voiceover "Blade Runner" that Ridley Scott thought he was making and then fought the studio to release.
To me, "Blade Runner," unlike "2001: A Space Odyssey," is a visionary movie that falls short of greatness. It’s not that I’m not for directors expressing their true selves. That's an opinion that got locked in for me when I saw the director’s cut, in 1992 (the version now available as "Blade Runner: The Final Cut"), and realized that I liked the compromised, studio-meddled version, with its voice-over and slapped-on "happy ending" (carved out of an outtake from "The Shining"), a little better. It’s that the "pure, uncut" version of "Blade Runner" only served to expose, all the more, the film's bare-bones storytelling and flawed momentum.
He fits right into the film’s rather conventional scheme of having the human beings act, you know, human and the androids act with steely cool determination. Besides, Harrison Ford, smooth-faced and commanding, with barely a trace of the irascibility that would evolve into the grumpy-old-man scowl with which he plays Deckard in "Blade Runner 2049," has a presence of distinctly warm-blooded energy. The whole tension of the Deckard/Rachel love story is that it’s an ever-so-slightly risqué human-meets-android coupling; if Deckard were a replicant, that tension would leak right out of it.
"Blade Runner," Ridley Scott’s visionary 1982 dystopian noir, is a movie with a mystique that now outstrips its reality. It’s a film of majestic science-fiction metaphor, beginning with its opening shot: the perpetual nightscape of Los Angeles in 2019, the smog turned to black, the fallout turned to rain, the smokestacks blasting fireballs that look downright medieval against a backdrop of obsidian blight. There’s a touch of virtual reality to the way we experience it, sinking into those blackened textures, reveling in the details (the corporate Mayan skyscrapers, the synthetic sushi bars, the Times Square meets Third World technolopolis clutter), seeing an echo of our own world in every sinister facet. "Blade Runner" wasn’t the first — or last — image of a desiccated future, but it remains one of the only movies that lets you feel the mechanical-spiritual decay.
Is it just austerely impressive, or is it truly great? But what may be the most striking aspect of "Blade Runner 2049" — and the reason the debate will go on — is that the film has been conceived not simply as a "Blade Runner" sequel but as the ultimate fulfillment of the "Blade Runner" mystique. There is already an intense, and worthy, debate going on about where "Blade Runner 2049" stands as a contemporary science-fiction achievement. Is it long and arid and pretentious, or is it the "Blade Runner" film that, at last, is just long, arid, and pretentious enough? In 2017, it’s exciting to see a mainstream movie ambitious and accomplished enough to provoke that level of debate.
The cornerstone of the conspiracy theory is, of course, the notion that Harrison Ford’s Deckard is actually a replicant. Not: My fellow android. True, there's the moment where Rachel, referring to the interrogation ritual that ferrets out replicants, asks Deckard, "You know that Voight-Kampff test of yours? If we take "Blade Runner: The Final Cut" as Ridley Scott’s definitive statement on the matter, I see no evidence — none! Did you ever take it yourself?" (It's a moment that leads nowhere.) And in the film's most resonant line of dialogue, Roy, before he expires, tells Deckard, "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe." You people. — that Deckard is, or was ever meant to be, a replicant.
"Blade Runner" has a storyline that's thin, serviceable, and more than a touch plodding. He also falls for Sean Young’s porcelain-skinned retro replicant temptress, who's photographed as if she were Kim Novak emerging from the shadows of "Vertigo" — but who should, by all rights, have been more of a femme fatale, and not just a supplicant romantic interest. If you judge a film simply on the power of its metaphors, then "Blade Runner" would have to be reckoned some sort of masterpiece. Deckard is assigned to hunt down four replicant rebels, and one by one, he…well, hunts them down. But there’s an idiosyncrasy to the movie, one that relates to why it was underappreciated in its time. It stuns you with its visual and atmospheric profundity…but it makes you wish its imagistic flair were embodied in a narrative of far greater ingenuity. The film intrigues…and drags.