Since this film will be gone by the time you read this, there isn’t much point in offering an actual critique. Allied is a film loosely structured around Brad Pitt’s ability to wear suits and Oscar-winner Marian Cotillard’s inability to spin straw into gold. The film is also a spy caper set in both Casablanca and London during WWII. To be honest, spy—yes. Caper—no.
There are questions that cry out to be answered—in addition to the most obvious and over-arching question: “Why was this film made?”—and I’m going to try to tackle them one by one.
1) Why should we believe that the French seductress and the Canadian (yes, Canadian) dullard have formed an actual nuclear family?
Because Brad Pitt’s character, a wing commander in the Canadian RAF, is carrying a baby.
2) Is it just me or does the field costume worn by Cotillard in this desert target-practice scene, doesn’t it look a whole lot like a Lara Croft super military babe outfit? (is she actually attempting to impersonate Angelina Jolie? And if so, why?) [See my final comments below.]
3) Had the previously talented director Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future; Forrest Gump) taken some sort of sedative during the filming of Allied? Has he suffered some brain injury? Is he in a coma? Was he even present during the making of this movie (nevermind the complete absence of scriptwriters.).? We may never know.
4) Is this film simply a showcase for Brad Pitt’s interest in expensive clothing? Witness this casually elegant dressing gown, obviously silk, and clearly keyed to his bronze hair and tanned skin.
5) Was this film made to re-establish the flaccid love affair American filmgoers once had with the physically bodacious Mr. Pitt? There are several vigorous couplings —two of which feature the buttocks of Mr. Pitt—and which are intended (we must presume) to show us that the leading characters are really falling in love. If not for these energetic couplings, there would be absolutely no movement, facial or otherwise, shown by the aforementioned Mr. Pitt.
Let’s take another look at this image. We see here the family unit: mom (obviously French, viz. the beret), and dad (we know this because he’s carrying a child).Now look closely at Brat Pitt. See the expression on his face? That is the height of his acting ability. That’s it. A blank look of vague discomfort, plus a change of clothes intended to signal “domesticated” and a prop (the kid). This expression is Pitt’s Benedict Cumberbatch moment. Here he’s letting out all the stops. You’re looking at Pitt acting his guts out, emoting at the top of his game.
6) Perhaps Brad Pitt was the one in a coma. He is a dry husk. I’ve seen driftwood display more animation than he does in this film. Seriously. He is insanely boring. I was yawning tears and making a shopping list during the final interminable hour. Which leads me to,….
7) If this film was a gamble that some sexual friction would erupt between the two leading stars, (remember “Mr. and Mrs. Smith?”) and thus foment some fabulous behind-the-scenes gossip on the part of “E” or “People Magazine” – a quick glance at the performances would put that all to rest.
Brad Pitt appears to be either confused, or slow-witted—or both—throughout this film. I can only imagine how much fun Cotillard had running home to her actual sweetie every night after filming and regaling him with her imitations of Pitt attempting dramatic expression.
No actress could have fallen in love with this stiff, especially one stuck with the grinding task of acting opposite him. Cotillard has enough effervescence to light up Versailles, but even her charm and vivacity seems to bounce off Pitt’s buffed pecs and fall, lifeless, onto the soundstage floor.
The truth behind the Brangelina break-up may amount to something as simple as Jolie’s patience being pushed to the limit. Brad Pitt, never the sharpest pencil in the box, has turned into a wooden dummy incapable of impersonating a flesh and blood man, tuxedo or no tuxedo. The truth hurts.