Sunday 11 December 2016

Allied by Steven Knight

Sometimes I feel the urgent need to communicate something to the readers of this blog — sort of a public service message, if you will. This is one such occasion.

Because if you listen to the critics, Allied is supposed to be a terrible movie... this is kind of becoming the accepted wisdom. People who haven't seen it just assume that the badmouthing is true and shrug and write the film off.

This grotesquely unfair. Because Allied is a terrific movie. I urge you to ignore the critics and go see it and make up your own mind. 

There was no chance I'd miss Allied because I'm a huge admirer of its writer, the Brit Steven Knight. I first realised what a talent he was when I saw Eastern Promises. Since then he's perhaps made the most impact with his TV show Peaky Blinders. But for my money his masterpiece is Locke, one of my favourite movies of all time.

Anyway, Knight is a tremendous writer and Allied is a splendid spy thriller — and love story — set in World War 2. It tells the twisted tale of French operative Marianne, played by the radiant Marion Cotillard and the Canadian agent Max, played by Brad Pitt. And Pitt has never been better.

I've heard some snooty comments from critics about the use of CGI in the film, but I think director Robert Zemeckis has done an impressive job of recreating London in the Blitz. And it's obvious that Knight has painstakingly researched the period.

My only real quibble — and I'm a fiend about getting period detail right — is whether Max and Marianne would have had an upstairs extension for their telephone back in wartime London.

This is a powerful, exciting, gripping and ultimately moving piece of cinema. And Marion Cotillard looks just wonderful brandishing a Sten gun!

Give it a chance.

(Image credits: only three posters available at Imp Awards.)

1 comment:

  1. I have just finally caught this on DVD and am at a complete loss as to why the critics rubbished it.