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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Zemeckis|
|Written by||Steven Knight|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$116.9 million|
Allied is a 2016 romantic thriller film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Steven Knight. It stars Brad Pitt as a Canadian intelligence officer and Marion Cotillard as a French Resistance fighter and collaborator, who fall in love during a mission in Casablanca. Jared Harris, Simon McBurney and Lizzy Caplan also star.
Principal photography began in February 2016 in London. The film was released in the United States on November 23, 2016 by Paramount Pictures, received mixed reviews from critics, although Pitt and particularly Cotillard's performances were praised, and grossed $116 million worldwide. It received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.
In 1942 during World War II, Royal Canadian Air Force intelligence officer Max Vatan travels to Casablanca in French Morocco to assassinate the German ambassador. He is partnered with a French Resistance fighter named Marianne Beausejour, who had escaped from France after her resistance group was compromised and killed.
The two pose as a married couple and grow close, despite agreeing that in their line of work feelings can get people killed. Marianne, who is trusted by the Germans, secures Max an invitation to the party where they plan to conduct the assassination. On the day itself, they make love inside a car in the middle of a desert sandstorm, knowing that they might not survive. However, the mission goes well and they both escape. Max asks Marianne to come with him to London and be his wife. The two get married, settle down in Hampstead, and have a baby girl named Anna.
A year later, Max learns from the Special Operations Executive that Marianne is suspected of being a German spy, having adopted her identity after the real Marianne was killed in France. In order to test their suspicions, SOE run a 'blue dye' operation: Max is ordered to write down a piece of false intelligence at home, where Marianne can find it. If the information is picked up from intercepted German transmissions, Max must personally execute her, or be hanged for treason. Max is told otherwise to act normally.
Defying orders, Max visits a former colleague Guy Sangster who knew Marianne but, blind from a wartime injury, cannot confirm her identity. He reveals that the resistance fighter Paul Delamare worked with Marianne in France and would be able to identify her. Max seeks out a young pilot named George Kavanagh, gives him a picture of his wife, and instructs him to ask Delamare whether she really is Marianne. However, the following night, Max hears that Kavanagh was killed whilst waiting on the ground for the answer. He also hears that the whole operation might be a test, before he is given a big job in the run up to D-Day.
The following night Max takes the place of a Lysander pilot and flies to France to meet with Delamare, who, it transpires, is being held at the local police station. Max and the resistance break into the jail to confront Delamare. He is drunk, but remembers that Marianne was a beautiful pianist.
Back in England, Max takes Marianne to a local pub and demands she play the piano. Marianne cannot play, and admits she is a spy. She claims her feelings for Max are genuine and that she and her child were being threatened by German spies in London, including the woman who lives around the corner and often looks after Anna.
Max, unwilling to kill his wife, tells her they need to leave before the SOE catches them. He kills Marianne's handlers before trying to escape from the airfield, but they are intercepted before they can board a plane. Marianne tells Max that she loves him, asks him to take care of Anna, then shoots herself. The commanding officer orders the soldiers present to report that Max executed Marianne as per his orders, so that Max himself will not be punished.
After the war, Max moves to the ranch in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, that was always his ambition, and raises Anna. The film ends with Marianne reading the letter that she had earlier written to her daughter, anticipating that one day her real identity would be uncovered.
On February 6, 2015, Paramount Pictures and New Regency announced that Robert Zemeckis was to direct an untitled World War II romantic thriller, in which Brad Pitt would star. Steven Knight wrote the original script, in development by Graham King's GK Films, which now would be produced by ImageMovers' Zemeckis and Steve Starkey along with King. On June 8, 2015, Marion Cotillard was cast to play a spy along with Pitt, who fall in love during a mission to kill a German official. In August 2015, Knight said that the film would be based on a true story told to him at the age of 21, and also that the shooting would start in January 2016. On January 28, 2016, Jared Harris joined the film. On March 8, 2016, Lizzy Caplan was cast to play Pitt's sister. Executive producers on the film would be Knight, Jack Rapke, Patrick McCormick and Denis O'Sullivan. Alan Silvestri composed the music.
Allied grossed $40.1 million in the United States and Canada and $76.9 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $116.9 million, against a production budget of $85 million.
Allied opened alongside Moana, Rules Don't Apply and Bad Santa 2 and was expected to gross around $15 million in its opening weekend and $20–25 million over its first five days from 3,160 theaters. The film ended up grossing $12.7 million in its opening weekend (a five-day total of $17.7 million), finishing 4th at the box office.
Allied received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 61% based on 198 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Allied has its moments, but doesn't quite achieve epic wartime romance status - a disappointment made more profound by the dazzling talent assembled on either side of the camera." Metacritic reports a normallized score of 60 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average "B" grade, on an A+ to F scale.
Writing for Deadline.com, Pete Hammond stated that "Screenwriter Steven Knight has crafted a nifty story that isn’t just a mere imitation of something you could imagine Ingrid Bergman and William Holden doing, even though wearing a certain hat in one scene Cotillard looks exactly like Bergman in the 1943 classic Casablanca. This one has all the requisite trappings including Nazis, bombed-out cities, foreign intrigue and impossibly good-looking stars. But Pitt and Cotillard are such good, and persuasive, actors that they quickly make you forget that they also happen to look the part. It is really their show, but the supporting cast includes Jared Harris and Simon McBurney as officers who deal with Max and Lizzy Caplan as Max’s sister. Matthew Goode is effective in his relatively brief appearance."
Stephanie Zacharek of TIME Magazine, stated that "Allied is a fascinating and novel experiment, sophisticated in a different way: Zemeckis uses technology to elicit the feeling we get when we watch old favorites. It’s almost like Smell-o-Vision, but with intensified visuals instead of aromatics. Even within this highly synthetic world, Pitt and Cotillard give sturdy, coded performances that feel naturalistic, not phony: They understand clearly that their chief mission is to tap the tradition of melodrama, and they take it seriously. Somehow, almost incomprehensibly, it all works. Allied looks old but smells new, and the scent is heady."
Eric Eisenberg from CinemaBlend, gave the film 4 out of 5 stars stating that "Pitt is given what can be called the meatier part, as Max's raw nerves are fully exposed throughout the film as he tries to learn the truth about his wife -- but Cotillard's part is the more subtle and challenging, perfectly engulfing Marianne with an enigmatic air that perpetually keeps the audience guessing. They're heavy turns, but Pitt and Cotillard prove again why they're two of the best in the business."
Rex Reed from New York Observer, gave the film 4 out of 4 stars saying, "Beautiful, bold and blazing with sex and suspense, Allied is a gorgeously photographed, intensely romantic, action-packed film by the great director Robert Zemeckis with two titanic star performances by Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard that delivers something for everyone. If you love classic movies and their potential to sweep you up into a world outside of your own experience, this one will rock your world."
Steve Pulaski of Influx Magazine gave the film a B+ saying, "This is a classic 'who can you trust?' film, with a strong aura of romance and attraction nonetheless. The impossibly attractive pairing of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard not only make this story work on a romantic note, but both show why they're such talented performers."
|List of awards and nominations|
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients||Result||Ref(s)|
|Academy Awards||February 26, 2017||Best Costume Design||Joanna Johnston||Pending|||
|British Academy Film Awards||February 12, 2017||Best Costume Design||Joanna Johnston||Nominated|||
|Critics' Choice Movie Awards||December 11, 2016||Best Costume Design||Joanna Johnston||Nominated|||
|Jupiter Awards||March 29, 2017||Best International Actor||Brad Pitt||Pending|||
|Satellite Awards||February 19, 2017||Best Art Direction and Production Design||Gary Freeman||Nominated|||
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 7, 2017||Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature||Kevin Baillie, Brennan Doyle, Viktor Muller, Sandra Scott and Richard Van Den Bergh||Nominated|||
|Women Film Critics Circle||December 19, 2016||Best Screen Couple||Allied||Nominated|||
|Best Equality of the Sexes||Allied||Nominated|
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