Allied, 2016 - ★★★★
This was a film that - in the end - worked despite itself. In the beginning I found Brad Pitt rather blank and unconvincing, and thought I might end up watching the film purely for the costumes (which were stunning, but the way), but gradually I got more drawn in and enjoyed it as an old fashioned romance. Marion Cotillard was as mesmerising as Resistance fighter Marianne as she is in every role, but she had to carry quite a bit of the film on her own.
There were plot holes and bits that stretched the suspension of disbelief to breaking point (like a car being caught in a sandstorm and still having glossy paintwork - let alone actually starting! - afterwards), and there was a tendency to self-consciously hark back to classic war films. For example, at one part, another character recalls Marianne playing ‘La Marseillaise’ on a piano in a bar in Casablanca: oh really? That reminds me of something, I can’t think what… bar, piano, Marseillaise, Casablanca… nevermind, it will come to me eventually.
Despite all that, some obvious CGI, and a near criminal underuse of the great Anton Lesser (two lines!), I did end up getting caught up in the film and really wanting things to turn out well for Max and Marianne.
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