While I tend to think of Robert Zemeckis as a comedy/drama director, in the World War II film Allied, he moves Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard around like chess pieces in a game of cat-and-mouse with dashes of romance thrown in. Like Mr. and Mrs. Smith or Killers, we don’t doubt the passion, but we’re not really sure whose side the protagonists are on.
Filled with moody glowering and enough duplicitousness to fill several John Le Carre novels, Allied plays out like a period piece with danger, in part due to Alan Silvestri’s score. In fact, I found the film much more compelling than the more decorated Bridge of Spies (which, with the exception of Mark Rylance, put me to sleep!)
The audience may appreciate the romance – or the intrigue – but the star of Cotillard appears to be on the rise as she devours scenes with Pitt, the bigger name for now. Adding to the degree of difficulty is that we’re told not to trust Cotillard’s Marianne once she’s married to Pitt’s Max; what would you think if you were told that the enemy you had been fighting all along was now sharing your bed?
All’s fair in love and war.
Allied special features include a look at the creation of location (“From Stage to the Sahara”), the direction of Robert Zemeckis (“Through the Lens”), the costumes (“A Stitch in Time”), the visual effects (“Lights, Pixels, Action!”), and the sound (“The Swingin’ Sound”).