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Allied is a 2016 war 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 while posing as a married couple during a mission in Casablanca. Jared Harris, Simon McBurney and Lizzy Caplan also star.

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
Budget $97–113 million[2][3]
Box office $120 million[2]

Principal photography began in February 2016 in London. The film premiered in London on November 21, 2016[4] and was released in the United States on November 23, 2016 by Paramount Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics, although Pitt and particularly Cotillard's performances were praised, and grossed $120 million worldwide. It also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.

Contents

PlotEdit

In 1942 during World War II, Wing Commander Max Vatan, a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot serving on intelligence duties, travels to Casablanca in Morocco to assassinate a German ambassador. He is partnered with a French Resistance fighter named Marianne Beauséjour, 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 have sex inside a car in the middle of a desert sandstorm, knowing that they might not survive. However, the mission is successful 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, who is born during a bombing raid.

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, and that the German ambassador they assassinated was a dissident Hitler wanted dead. 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 high treason. Max is told otherwise to act normally and not do his own investigation.

Defying orders, Max visits a former colleague named Guy Sangster who knew Marianne; however, Sangster, blinded by a wartime injury, cannot confirm her identity. He reveals that resistance fighter Paul Delamare, who worked with Marianne in France, is still alive in Dieppe and would be able to identify her. Max finds a young pilot named Adam Hunter, gives him a photograph with a "classified" note — asking if the woman in the photo is Marianne Beauséjour — and instructs him to obtain a "yes" or "no" answer from Delamare.

Max and Marianne host a house party. Max's commanding officer Frank Heslop comes and tells him that Hunter was killed while waiting on the ground for the answer from Delamare and berates him for his insubordination. Max wonders if what he was told about Marianne is all a test of his loyalty as part of a promotion to V-Section.

The following evening, Max takes the place of a Lysander pilot and flies to France to meet with Delamare, who is being held at the local police station. Max and the local resistance break into the town's local jail, but Delamare is drunk and cannot verify the picture. The delay allows time for the French police officer to alert the Germans, whom Max and the resistance manage to defeat. Prior to leaving, Max is informed by Delamare that Marianne was a talented pianist who had once played La Marseillaise in defiance of occupying Germans in the early stages of the war.

Back in England, Max takes Marianne to a local pub and demands she play the piano. Marianne cannot. She admits she is a spy and forwarded the "blue dye" message, which Max left in plain view. She claims her feelings for Max are genuine, and that she was forced back into being a German spy because German agents were threatening Anna.

Max, unwilling to kill his wife, tells her they need to flee the country. He kills Marianne's handlers, a nanny and a jeweller. They drive to a local airbase, but Max cannot get the plane to start before Heslop and the military police arrive. Max tries to plead his case before the officers, but Marianne tells him that she loves him, asks him to take care of Anna, and then shoots herself. Heslop 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 a ranch in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, as he had always wanted to do, and raises Anna. The film ends with Marianne reading a letter that she had written to her daughter, anticipating that one day her real identity would be uncovered.

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

Pre-productionEdit

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.[5] 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.[9] 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.[6] 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.[10] On January 28, 2016, Jared Harris joined the film.[7] On March 8, 2016, Lizzy Caplan was cast to play Pitt's sister.[8] Executive producers on the film would be Knight, Jack Rapke, Patrick McCormick and Denis O'Sullivan.[8] Alan Silvestri composed the music.[11]

FilmingEdit

Principal photography on the film began in February 2016 in London, with the family home located on the corners of Christchurch Hill and Willow Road in Hampstead.[12] In May 2016 scenes set in Casablanca were shot in Gran Canaria, Canary Islands.[13][14]

ClothingEdit

All of the outfits in the film were custom-made for the cast. A tan suede 40's style jacket in silky lambskin worn by Brad Pitt's character in a scene where Vatan and Beausejour stroll through the streets of London with their baby on a family picnic, was designed by Cromford Leather, bespoke leather specialists based in London.[15] The silver cross, worn by Brad Pitt in the film was also custom made by London-based jewelry designer Stephen Einhorn.[16]

ReleaseEdit

Paramount Pictures released the film on Wednesday, November 23, 2016.[17]

Box officeEdit

Allied grossed $40.1 million in the United States and Canada and $79.4 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $119.5 million, against a net production budget of $85 million.[2] The Hollywood Reporter estimated the film lost the studio $75–90 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.[18]

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.[19][20] 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.[21] It remained in fourth place in its second weekend with a gross of $7 million.[22]

Critical responseEdit

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, Allied has an approval rating of 59% based on 224 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.2/10. The website'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."[23] Metacritic reports a normallized score of 60 out of 100, based on 44 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[24] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave a 79% overall positive score and a 56% "definite recommend".[21]

Writing for Deadline Hollywood, 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."[25] The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gary Rotstein, in contrast, wrote that notwithstanding "so many shared plot references [to] Casablanca", while that film is "among the greatest films of all time ... the other is about as flat as one of those WWII wall maps on which swastikas denote all the German-occupied parts of Europe".[26]

Stephanie Zacharek of Time stated that "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."[27] Eric Eisenberg from CinemaBlend gave the film four out of five, writing: "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."[28]

Rex Reed from The New York Observer, gave the film four out of four, writing: "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."[29]

Reviewing for Movies & Drinks the 2017 Blu-ray release, Paul Mavis wrote that although Allied's extensive CGI is at first visually interesting, it ultimately creates a "dead air, black box" feel that serves no purpose: "Almost none of Allied feels real, which is of course ironic when that's the whole crux of screenwriter Stephen Knight's story...I wish Zemeckis was smart enough to make his love of technology actually serve this conceit of reality versus deliberate fabrication, to create an environment that was just as untrustworthy as his characters. However, he seems to be using CGI here...just to save money and to avoid shooting on location".[30]

Home mediaEdit

Allied was released on Digital HD on February 14, 2017[31] and on Blu-ray and DVD on February 28, 2017.[32][33]

AccoladesEdit

List of awards and nominations
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients Result Ref(s)
Academy Awards February 26, 2017 Best Costume Design Joanna Johnston Nominated [34][35]
British Academy Film Awards February 12, 2017 Best Costume Design Joanna Johnston Nominated [36]
Critics' Choice Movie Awards December 11, 2016 Best Costume Design Joanna Johnston Nominated [37]
Jupiter Awards March 29, 2017 Best International Actor Brad Pitt Nominated [38]
Satellite Awards February 19, 2017 Best Art Direction and Production Design Gary Freeman Nominated [39]
Best Sound Allied Nominated
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Action or Adventure Film Allied Nominated [40]
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 [41]
Women Film Critics Circle December 19, 2016 Best Screen Couple Allied Nominated [42]
Best Equality of the Sexes Allied Nominated

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Allied (15)". British Board of Film Classification. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Allied (2016)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  3. ^ "2016 Feature Film Study" (PDF). FilmL.A. Feature Film Study. Film L.A.: Page 23 May 23, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  4. ^ Alvarez, Joe (November 22, 2016). "Brad Pitt And Marion Cotillard in Good Spirits At The Allied London Premiere". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  5. ^ a b Hayden, Erik (February 6, 2015). "Robert Zemeckis to Direct Brad Pitt Romantic Thriller". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Sneider, Jeff (June 8, 2015). "Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard to Play Spies and Lovers in Robert Zemeckis' WWII Movie". TheWrap. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Galuppo, Mia (January 28, 2016). "Jared Harris Joins Brad Pitt in Robert Zemeckis' Spy Thriller". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c Kroll, Justin (March 8, 2016). "Lizzy Caplan Joins Brad Pitt in Robert Zemeckis' Next Movie". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  9. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 6, 2015). "Brad Pitt & Robert Zemeckis Team On Steven Knight Script". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ Chitwood, Adam (August 27, 2015). "Robert Zemeckis' WWII Romance Starts Filming in January, Says Steven Knight". Collider. Complex Media. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  11. ^ filmmusicreporter (October 21, 2015). "Alan Silvestri to Score Robert Zemeckis' Untitled World War II Spy Drama". Film Music Reporter. Retrieved October 25, 2015. 
  12. ^ Evry, Max (March 31, 2016). "Five Seconds of Silence Set Photos with Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved April 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ 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". The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  14. ^ 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". The Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved November 20, 2016. 
  15. ^ cromfordleather (December 20, 2016). "Bespoke Leather Jacket for 'Allied'". Cromford Leather. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  16. ^ Alvarez, Joe; Orlova, Tamara A. (April 26, 2017). "Exploring the Craft of Jewellery Making With Hollywood Jeweller Stephen Einhorn". Ikon London Magazine. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  17. ^ Sneider, Jeff (November 3, 2015). "Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard WWII Spy Movie Sets Release Date". TheWrap. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  18. ^ Pamela McClintock; Mia Galuppo (September 8, 2016). "'Ben Hur' to 'BFG': Hollywood's Biggest Box-Office Bombs of 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media, LLC. Retrieved July 13, 2018. 
  19. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 21, 2016). "Will 'Moana' Slay 'Fantastic Beasts' Over The Thanksgiving Stretch?". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  20. ^ Brevet, Brad (November 22, 2016). "'Moana' Sets Sights on $80+ Million 5-Day Thanksgiving Debut". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  21. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 24, 2016). "'Moana' Rings Up $81M+ & Ranks As 2nd Best Thanksgiving Debut After 'Frozen'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  22. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 4, 2016). "'Moana' Keeps Fire Going in Chilly December Weekend; 'Manchester' & 'Jackie' Bask in Awards Season Rays". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 13, 2018. 
  23. ^ "Allied (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  24. ^ "Allied Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  25. ^ Hammond, Pete (November 21, 2016). "'Allied' Review: Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard Turn Up Movie Star Wattage In Terrific WWII Espionage Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  26. ^ Rotstein, Gary (November 22, 2016). "Movie review: 'Allied' is no 'Casablanca'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. PG Publishing. Retrieved March 13, 2018. 
  27. ^ Zacharek, Stephanie (November 22, 2016). "Review: With Allied, the Old-School Wartime Melodrama Enters the Modern Age". Time. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  28. ^ Eisenberg, Eric. "Allied". Cinema Blend. GatewayBlend Entertainment. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  29. ^ Reed, Rex (November 21, 2016). "'Allied' Is a Gorgeous, Sweeping World War II Thriller". New York Observer. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  30. ^ Mavis, Paul (June 15, 2017). "'Allied' (2016): Brad Pitt returns to WWII". Movies & Drinks. Retrieved April 19, 2018. 
  31. ^ "Allied DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Allied". Movie Insider. Retrieved January 23, 2017. 
  33. ^ Hunt, Bill (January 19, 2017). "Allied official, Miss Sloane, The Americans: Season 4, Your Name & more, lots of new BD cover artwork". The Digital Bits. Retrieved January 19, 2017. 
  34. ^ Nordyke, Kimberly (January 24, 2017). "Oscars: 'La La Land' Ties Record With 14 Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  35. ^ Variety Staff (January 24, 2017). "Oscar Nominations: Complete List". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved January 24, 2017. 
  36. ^ Ritman, Alex (January 9, 2017). "BAFTA Awards: 'La La Land' Leads Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  37. ^ "La La Land Leads with 12 Nominations for the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards". Critics' Choice Awards. Broadcast Film Critics Association. December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  38. ^ "The Jupiter Awards 2017". Jupiter Awards. CINEMA Verlag. Retrieved December 26, 2016. 
  39. ^ Kilday, Gregg (November 29, 2016). "Satellite Awards Nominees Revealed". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  40. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  41. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 10, 2016). "'Rogue One' Leads Visual Effects Society Feature Competition With 7 Nominations As 'Doctor Strange,' 'Jungle Book' Grab 6 Each". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  42. ^ Berger, Laura (December 14, 2016). "Women Film Critics Circle Nominations: "Hidden Figures," "13th," & More". Women And Hollywood. Retrieved December 15, 2016. 

External linksEdit