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Flirting with sensationalism, reminiscent of archival WWII movies (“Casablanca”, “From Here to Eternity”), a blend of politics, mystery and romance, “Allied” (Directed by Robert Zemeckis) is, in the words of A.O. Scott “elegant escapism”; from its luminous commencement, with the parachuting of Royal Air Force intelligence officer “Max”, (Brad Pitt) on the undulating dunes of Nazi-occupied French Morocco, 1942; part of a clandestine plan to assassinate the German ambassador, complicit with his fictional wife, French Resistance fighter, “Marianne”, (Marion Cotillard); Max’s valiant effort to thwart their electrifying attraction fails profoundly, in a galvanizing sand storm, hours before their orchestrated mission.

In fairy-tale mode the couple survive, marry, have a daughter “Anna” in the middle of a London air raid;  all appears perfectly copacetic until Max is informed by his superiors that Marianne is a German spy; the circuitous route Max generates to discover the truth is fraught with major vicissitudes and colorful performances: Lizzy Caplan as “Bridget”, Max’s sister, with androgynous aplomb, studies the guests at a party in the home of Max and Marianne; Matthew Goode is painfully pungent as a disfigured, disgruntled, drift-less ex-officer; Simon McBurney stings as the harbinger of doom in Max’s precarious future.

Written by Steven Knight, master of suspense, vivisects emotionally, characters and viewers, simultaneously.  The film is owned by Cotillard and Pitt, graced with angelic, smoldering beauty, sublime acting acuity, they excavate the depths of their characters, assuring stunning, alluring memorability.


THREE & 1/2 STARS!!!



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