In understanding the legal system and the highs and lows of it, a lead must provide not just a cutting through of potential jargon, but a reason to care for it. Prima Facie has a rare blend of strong lead and message tied too closely to the profession it looks to discuss and encounter. Barristers and the work they provide. Those unknowable souls whose job is to, well, who knows what their job is. That is one of the many moral lines this Jodie Comer-starring piece manages to encapsulate. Not just the fear of being put on the witness box or the unjust system that batters good people down, but of those on the other side, and how they may feel about putting down those whose position they are fortunate enough to not yet be in.
A credible achievement it is to make two features of such lengthiness in one year, Ridley Scott forgets that quantity does not equal quality. Between The Last Duel and House of Gucci is almost six hours of artisanship, but none of it is confident of itself. Where House of Gucci closed itself off from innovation and toured the usual suspects of the biopic genre, The Last Duel relies on an impossibly grand scale and another ensemble. Scott is wasteful and has no way of separating the wheat from the chaff, but he doesn’t need to. There is enough in the grandiose and inspired status of The Last Duel for it to compete on its own level, primarily because there is nothing quite like it anymore.