Why The Last Duel Is Good Art, and Christine Blasey Ford’s Perjury Wasn’t
One of my first thoughts while sitting down to watch The Last Duel was, “The Stream must commission Mark Judge to review this.” And lo and behold we did. Read his acerbic essay here, where he justly observes that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon surely meant the story as a #MeToo fable inspired by the Brett Kavanaugh case. There’s even an accomplice character in the film, who plays much the same role imagined for Judge by Christine Blasey Ford in her public, solemnly sworn perjury.
Let’s just say it: She was lying. I don’t know if Ford was ever really assaulted by anyone, and at this point I don’t care. Brett Kavanaugh didn’t do it, Mark Judge didn’t witness it, and Blasey Ford knows it. She knew it when she testified, but made her accusations anyway. So her villainy more than outweighs any previous victimhood. The Senate concluded that she was lying, and so has the broader American public, including most of the left.
If liberals really believed, deep in their hearts, that Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist, they would still be picketing the Supreme Court. They really believed (also without evidence) that Donald Trump was a dangerous fascist, and they kept up the drumbeat of hysteria for four long years. But once the Kavanaugh hearings ended, most liberals and even feminists went quiet on Kavanaugh. They knew.
They’d suspected all along, but were willing to collude in a likely lie in order to keep abortion legal. Indeed, that’s why Blasey Ford’s lawyer said that she’d been willing to testify in the first place. And by the way, it’s still true that Ford worked for the company that makes the key ingredient in the abortion pill. She was part of the abortion industry. That’s something not even Fox News would report.
It Was Worth a Try!
The lie failed. The poop the monkeys threw at this particular wall didn’t stick, and now they’ve moved along to pelt another. Ordinary women don’t go around thinking, “We’ve got a rapist on the U.S. Supreme Court,” because they know that we don’t. They saw the hearings, watched all the media spin, heard Julie Swetnick’s and Michael Avenatti’s even more elaborate lies … and they realized it was all politically motivated slander.
Blasey Ford has moved on too, to a quiet life as a feminist heroine, enjoying the million-plus dollars she collected via GoFundMe. Doubtless she’ll be well-paid as a commencement speaker at leftist colleges in the future — invited by administrators who also know that she was lying, and are sad that we didn’t believe her. Students who applaud her, if they watched the hearings, will also know she was lying, but they’ll cheer for her anyway. Such are our future leaders.
The Contrast Between Drama and Farce
The Last Duel is a gripping, powerful and completely convincing drama. But the Blasey Ford story is a failed satire or a farce, more like the dark comedies Wag the Dog, or Matthew Broderick’s Election. And there’s one key reason, one thing that makes The Last Duel resonate with us: the stakes.
Marguerite (Jodie Comer) in The Last Duel, who claims she was raped by the scheming courtier Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver), has every reason on earth to keep silent. Nobody witnessed the rape, so it didn’t “disgrace” her. No one accused her of adultery, giving her reason to advertise the sex act as non-consensual. She could have swallowed the trauma, and gone on with her life. Instead, by unveiling this secret shame, she faces public vilification by Le Gris’ powerful allies. Much worse than that, if the court rules that she was lying, she faces public execution — in the most hideous manner otherwise reserved for witches, burning alive.
But she doesn’t recant. She soldiers on, showing more courage than the most chivalric knight in the story. Indeed, she foreshadows the fortitude of another great Frenchwoman, St. Joan of Arc. The gifted and luminous Comer offers a complex and winning performance — and the whole movie turns on it. We believe, respect, and care about Marguerite, whose heroism prevails.
Technically, that’s a spoiler, but come on — did you really think Hollywood was going to make a movie today about a woman who lied about being raped? If you believe that, let me sell you some options in a project exposing Christine Blasey Ford, where she’s played by Tyler Perry.
Blasey Ford Risked Nothing at All
Imagine what a lame story The Last Duel would have been if Marguerite faced no consequences at all, should she have been proved a liar. In fact, if however the trial turned out, Marguerite would walk away being lionized, and collecting a ransom from her supporters. If she had been the wife not of an obscure, impoverished knight, but of some powerful courtier, like the Machiavellian social climber Jacques LeGris.
If all of court opinion and every means of communication had colluded to promote her story, and discredit the defendant’s. If the only person risking anything at all in the whole affair had been the defendant, and his hapless friend who got caught up in the case and also falsely accused. That’s the kind of movie the Blasey Ford perjury case would make.
I’d still like to see it produced, of course. And I’d pick Mark Judge to write it. But it would be a farce, like the farce we witnessed when Blasey Ford walked away without a perjury indictment lodged against her. I wouldn’t wish her burned alive, but she ought to face trial and if convicted serve every day of the proper legal sentence. She attempted the total destruction of two innocent men’s lives, by lying under oath. There ought to be a law against that.
John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”