Brad Pitt and Mar­ion Cotil­lard team up to take down Nazis as the most beau­ti­ful spies this side — or any side — of Austin Pow­ers.


IN A CA­REER of ground­break­ing firsts, Al­lied rep­re­sents an­other for Robert Ze­meckis: his first full-blown cin­e­matic ro­mance. Just don’t ask him why he is do­ing it. “Why di­rec­tors are at­tracted to ma­te­rial is like love af­fairs,” says the man be­hind Back To

The Future, Who Framed Roger Rab­bit and last year’s The Walk. “It ei­ther hap­pens or it doesn’t; there’s no real science. It was fun and chal­leng­ing to do some­thing I’d never done be­fore.”

Al­lied sees Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Ex­ec­u­tive agents Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and Mar­i­anne Beause­jour (Mar­ion Cotil­lard) fall in love on a mis­sion to as­sas­si­nate a high-rank­ing Ger­man of­fi­cial. With an early stretch that fol­lows Max as he learns to pose as Mar­i­anne’s hus­band in the glam­orous en­vi­rons of 1940s Casablanca, the movie ex­plores the idea that in love, as in spy­ing, we all wear fa­cades. “It speaks, on a very dra­matic level, to the truth of ev­ery ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ship; there is al­ways some­thing go­ing on,” the direc­tor ex­plains. “There are al­ways mov­ing parts.”

As you’d ex­pect from Ze­meckis, there will be white-knuckle ac­tion set-pieces, in­clud­ing an air-raid on a hos­pi­tal, but spec­ta­cle isn’t his pri­mary concern. “The big­ness is throw­away,” he says. “It is there to serve the in­ti­macy.” It’s all a long way from the flux ca­pac­i­tors and car­toon rab­bits that made his name.

“I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have been at­tracted to this when I was 26,” he muses. “I would have been too rest­less and goofy. For this ma­te­rial, you’ve got to have years un­der your belt to un­der­stand the nu­ance. You have to have been through a lot of pain.” Hope­fully that pain will be our gain.

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