With the holiday season approaching, film goers are gearing up for the end of the year batch of Oscar contenders, the latest installment of winter sequels, and if you’re like me, Rogue One. But in the midst of the holiday shuffle, I highly suggest catching the latest film from Robert Zemeckis (Romancing the Stone, Forrest Gump).
Allied is a romantic war drama that pays homage to classics like Casablanca, with just enough humor and cleverness to rival more modern action flicks like Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
The film, written by Steven Knight, tells the story of a Canadian spy, Max (Brad Pitt), and his accomplice, Marianne (Marion Cotillard). They pose as husband and wife and are assigned a dangerous mission in Casablanca to assassinate a Nazi ambassador. The mission is a success, and after a passionate ten-day affair in the field, Max proposes to Marianne. Marianne accepts, and the couple settle down in the English countryside. Marianne falls pregnant and she and Max have a wonderful year together, despite the ever-present dangers of war. Max’s trust is shaken after he learns that Marianne has been accused of being a German spy. Max must then choose which is more important to him, his love for Marianne or his allegiance to his country.
Allied is a beautiful love story, but rest assured it is a war movie so the trials and tribulations of World War II are not sugar coated or romanticized in any way.
The film is wonderfully written and beautifully acted, but the real contender here is Marion Cotillard. She exudes class and beauty, an even mix of Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett O’Hara and Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa. Brad Pitt portrays his usual, straight laced, love stricken persona and does so effortlessly, but he’s no Bogart. Cotillard and Pitt together however make a beautiful pair and their chemistry is unmatched. Allied also features excellent performances from Jared Harris and Lizzy Caplan. Harris (The Man from U.N.C.L.E) portrays Pitt’s commanding officer, Frank, and Caplan (Masters of Sex) portrays Pitt’s younger sister, Bridget. Bridget is a young lesbian with a steady girlfriend. While the film only touches on Bridget’s romantic relationship, it was refreshing to see a homosexual relationship set against the backdrop of the 1940s given the controversy surrounding homosexuality at that time.
While I do not foresee the film sweeping the Oscars, at two hours in length, Allied is still captivating from start to finish and will please those who favor both war stories and romantic dramas. The film also reminds us that all is fair in love and war.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Mallory Delchamp is a writer, model, and performer living in Manhattan. You can routinely read her film and music reviews here on Pop-Break and you can also check out her work on zumic.com and nytheatreguide.com. A social media and pop culture enthusiast, Mallory also enjoys musical theatre, superhero films, and drinking coffee. You can visit Mallory at her website, www.mallorydelchamp.com