Rating: R, Time: hr min, Director: Robert Zemeckis, Cast on IMDb
How believable was the love affair between Max and Marianne?
There is an interesting analogy between this movie and Mr. and Mrs. Smith as Brad Pitt cheated on his current wives in the making of these "romance" movies. So it's a bit ironic, with actors playing spies, pretending to be a married couple and then fall in love in the movie and in real life. I think you have to throw out this personal drama though and judge the movie on its own. Marianne, played by Marion Cottiard, has the look of a French girl with the 30s-40s bob haircut typical of the war period. The romance comes off as authentic and the audience gets swept away in this delicate relationship between the war period, which was extremely risky because of possible reassignment as spies or possible betrayal associated with being spies during war time.
How well done are the sets and costumes?
This is one of the strongest points on the films that really is well developed from sets in Morroco and London during war times. That part of the movie is extremely well done, especially seeing these 40's car with the suicide style doors in the front that makes the in and out like a dance move from the camera perspective. The really cool special effects were the bombing of London scenes in the movie as you see the night time light up the sky. Unfortnately, I didn't find anything online for photos. Based on the quantity of the bombs dropped on London during WWII, I think the fear levels would have been higher in reality than shown at the dinner party. It's possible that the civilians would have grown accostumed to the bombings, but the reality is the German luftwaffe destroyed much of London. Below is a map to show the extense bombing raids. Personally, I think the director should have shown the fear, panic and quick response the civilians may have lived through with each successive bombing raid. The excessive drinking totally fits in with the bombing though as people were escaping reality.
How well does the final scene set in with the beginning scenes?
The movie has a very well crafted ending that comes full circle with the world of spies that he entered and then left or so he thought. It's interesteing in that Max actually starts to investigate the charge against his wife himself as he has contacts with the French resistence. The really nice part of the movie is that Brad has starred in many WWII movies so the characters he previously played kind of season the audience to this role. The best part is Brad is so great with accents and languages as proven in Snatch and now re-showcased in Allied. The audience may expect the hopeless accent of Aldo in "Inglorious Basterds" or the brutal tank commander Wardaddy in "Fury", but instead get this sophisticated spy that is a bit withdrawn socially.
What did you think of the directing?
I think it was surprising to see Zemeckis do a really smart war film after gaining fame on the Back to the Future films. You kind of think he will do some zany stunts, goofy lines, but none of that comes off. He definitely has a lot of range picking the characters in this film.
Have you done any WWII artwork?
In a way. I did a great fighter pilot movie of Top Gun with Tom Cruise and the explosion of Hiroshima. So my work shows how the modern film sugar coats the reality of being a fighter pilot. In the majority of the cases, you are bombing civilians for the most part and doing very few dog fights. In the background of my work, you see the propaganda posters of joining the Navy in Japan or US and the imagery is nearly identical.
Top Gun: E=mc2