Entertainment » Movies


by Karin McKie
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Mar 7, 2017

Given the current political climate, Robert Zemekis's World War Two "thriller" "Allied" is thinly plotted, chock full of seemingly anachronistic "fucks," acted on sound-stagey sets, with luscious costumes by Joanna Johnston.

The "Forrest Gump" director starts in 1942 Casablanca (taking a cue from the classic film), and brings Canadian intelligence officer, Special Operations Executive Max Vatan (cardboard flat Brad Pitt, employing a bad take on a bad accent) together with Marianne Beauséjour (vibrant and sympathetic Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard) to complete an operation for the French Resistance.

After spraying humans with gunfire, they fall in love, natch, and return to Britain to make a baby, born during a bombing raid, natch, and to encounter a ticking time bomb of intrigue, of course!

Not a whole lot happens during the movie, but there's a blitz of short Blu-ray featurettes, covering all production aspects. In "Story of 'Allied,'" screenwriter Steven Knight says his script is based on a true story he once heard. Actor Lizzy Caplan (Max's lesbian sister Bridget) says that Nazi bombs actually exhilarated the Brits.

"A Stitch in Time: The Costumes of 'Allied'" talks about Zemeckis "playing out of his playing field," working together with Johnston since "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" She created "glamorous, old-fashioned Hollywood style with a modernity, definitely sexy, an electric combination." The pair initially find each other due to her unique, open-backed violet dress and hummingbird wrap, and spend time on hot North African roofs in cool, liquid, flowing nightwear. Max wears an array of light colored, bespoke suits. In London, Marianne's palette moves to British plaids and checks. Daniel Phillips concocted chic and elegant hair and makeup to complement the fabrics.

Max and Marianne's complex relationship is plumbed in "'Til Death Do Us Part." Basic human truths reach grand spectacle, one notes. Cotillard felt she was born to play this part, and is "wonderfully Parisian." She loved the deep, profound, big love story, and wanted to work with Zemeckis and Pitt, who made a conscious choice to shoot the film in continuity so the relationship growth could be seen in real time. She called her experience "a very precious time."

Other specials include "From Stages to the Sahara: The Production Design of 'Allied,'" "Through The Lens: Directing with Robert Zemeckis," "Lights, Pixels, ACTION! The Visual Effects of 'Allied,'" "Behind the Wheel: The Vehicles of 'Allied,'" "Locked and Loaded: The Weapons of Allied,'" and "That Swingin' Sound: The Music of 'Allied.'"


Karin McKie is a writer, educator and activist at KarinMcKie.com

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