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Allied (film)

Allied
A man and a woman standing face to face, as if about to kiss.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Produced by
Written by Steven Knight
Starring
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Don Burgess
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • November 9, 2016 (2016-11-09) (Regency Village Theatre)
  • November 23, 2016 (2016-11-23) (United States)
  • November 25, 2016 (2016-11-25) (United Kingdom)
Running time
124 minutes[1]
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
French
German
Budget $85 million[2]
Box office $116.9 million[2]

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.

Plot

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.

Cast

Production

Pre-production

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.[3] 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.[7] 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.[4] 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.[8] On January 28, 2016, Jared Harris joined the film.[5] On March 8, 2016, Lizzy Caplan was cast to play Pitt's sister.[6] Executive producers on the film would be Knight, Jack Rapke, Patrick McCormick and Denis O'Sullivan.[6] Alan Silvestri composed the music.[9]

Filming

Principal photography on the film began in February 2016 in London.[10] In May 2016 scenes set in Casablanca were shot in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.[11][12]

Release

Paramount Pictures released the film on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.[13]

Box office

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.[2]

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.[14][15] 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.[16]

Critical response

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."[17] Metacritic reports a normallized score of 60 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[18] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average "B" grade, on an A+ to F scale.[19]

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."[20]

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."[21]

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."[22]

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."[23]

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."[24]

Home media

Allied was released on Digital HD on February 14, 2017[25] and will be on Blu-ray and DVD on February 28, 2017.[26][27]

Accolades

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 [28][29]
British Academy Film Awards February 12, 2017 Best Costume Design Joanna Johnston Nominated [30]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards December 11, 2016 Best Costume Design Joanna Johnston Nominated [31]
Jupiter Awards March 29, 2017 Best International Actor Brad Pitt Pending [32]
Satellite Awards February 19, 2017 Best Art Direction and Production Design Gary Freeman Nominated [33]
Best Sound Allied 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 [34]
Women Film Critics Circle December 19, 2016 Best Screen Couple Allied Nominated [35]
Best Equality of the Sexes Allied Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Allied (15)". British Board of Film Classification. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Allied (2016)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Hayden, Erik (February 6, 2015). "Robert Zemeckis to Direct Brad Pitt Romantic Thriller". hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (June 8, 2015). "Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard to Play Spies and Lovers in Robert Zemeckis' WWII Movie". The Wrap. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Galuppo, Mia (January 28, 2016). "Jared Harris Joins Brad Pitt in Robert Zemeckis' Spy Thriller". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (March 8, 2016). "Lizzy Caplan Joins Brad Pitt in Robert Zemeckis' Next Movie". Variety. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  7. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (February 6, 2015). "Brad Pitt & Robert Zemeckis Team On Steven Knight Script". deadline.com. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  8. ^ Chitwood, Adam (August 27, 2015). "Robert Zemeckis' WWII Romance Starts Filming in January, Says Steven Knight". collider.com. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Alan Silvestri to Score Robert Zemeckis' Untitled World War II Spy Drama". Film Music Reporter. October 21, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  10. ^ Evry, Max (March 31, 2016). "Five Seconds of Silence Set Photos with Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  11. ^ Lawrence, Rebecca (May 28, 2016). "Sun, sand and Brad Pitt! Allied filming continues in Gran Canaria as the star dons vintage forties clothing to work on new scenes in the desert". Daily Mail. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  12. ^ Tufft, Ben (May 21, 2016). "Dapper Brad Pitt and his chic co-star Marion Cotillard film scenes for World War II movie Allied... as filming moves from the UK countryside to Gran Canaria". Daily Mail. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  13. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 3, 2015). "Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard WWII Spy Movie Sets Release Date". thewrap.com. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Will 'Moana' Slay 'Fantastic Beasts' Over The Thanksgiving Stretch?". Deadline.com. 
  15. ^ "'Moana' Sets Sights on $80+ Million 5-Day Thanksgiving Debut". Box Office Mojo. 
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 24, 2016). "'Moana' Rings Up $81M+ & Ranks As 2nd Best Thanksgiving Debut After 'Frozen'". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Allied (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Allied reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  19. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. 
  20. ^ Hammond, Pete. "'Allied' Review: Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard Turn Up Movie Star Wattage In Terrific WWII Espionage Thriller". Deadline.com. 
  21. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie. "Review: With Allied, the Old-School Wartime Melodrama Enters the Modern Age". TIME Magazine. 
  22. ^ Eisenberg, Eric. "Allied". CinemaBlend. 
  23. ^ Reed, ERex. "'Allied' Is a Gorgeous, Sweeping World War II Thriller". New York Observer. 
  24. ^ Pulaski, Steve. "Allied (2016)". Influx Magazine. 
  25. ^ "Allied DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  26. ^ "Allied". Movie Insider. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "Allied official, Miss Sloane, The Americans: Season 4, Your Name & more, lots of new BD cover artwork". The Digital Bits. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  28. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 24, 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. January 24, 2017. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  30. ^ Ritman, Alex (January 9, 2017). "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  31. ^ "La La Land Leads with 12 Nominations for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  32. ^ "The Jupiter Awards 2017". Jupiter Awards. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  33. ^ Kilday, Gregg (November 29, 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  34. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 10, 2016). "'Rogue One' Leads Visual Effects Society Feature Competition With 7 Nominations As 'Doctor Strange,' 'Jungle Book' Grab 6 Each". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  35. ^ "Women Film Critics Circle Nominations: "Hidden Figures," "13th," & More". Women And Hollywood. December 19, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 

External links