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Paramount Pictures new film “Allied” brings to the screen, the love story of British Special Operative, Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) and French Resistance fighter, Marion Beausejour (Marion Cotillard). Assigned to fight Nazi enemies in Europe, they are reunited in London, where the love that began during their risky mission grows. The couple start a family, only to have their lives torn apart by deception and betrayal.
The press event brought together, Graham King (Executive Producer), Steve Starkey (Producer), Marion Cotillard (Actress), Robert Zemeckis, Director and Steven Knight (Screenwriter) who talked about the film and the screenplay.
Steven Knight started the session by sharing how this story had been floating around for 30 years. Knowing only the basics about the tale of someone who fell in love and had to deal with the consequences of the relationship gone bad, Mr. Knight built on the storyline using the basic concept “Can you discover that you have been betrayed and still be in love? “
Graham King talked about the film being an original story. Mr. King was impressed with the storyline and spent months discussing and embellishing on the essential story. The infidelity and trust or lack thereof were key points and led to the incredible thriller full of war drama and romance.
Robert Zemeckis discussed growing up during post WWII, where he watched countless films and always wanting to be involved in a World War II film. Although he did not go looking for a war film, it was exciting to finally run across Knight’s screenplay.
Marion Cotillard who played Marianne Beausejour thought it was a beautiful yet deep and powerful story that was also entertaining. Reading the script four years earlier, she was very happy to finally be part of the project. Marion elaborated on how there was an issue with scenes where there was gun use and how she “freaked out” when it was discovered she was not good with the guns and did not really care for them. Having to pretend to “like guns” was stressful even when the bullets are blanks and props. Mr. Zemeckis also expressed concerns about the guns in general as they were vintage and made quickly and cheaply and not the safest.
Working with Joanna Johnson was another positive part for Marion as she usually doesn’t get to enjoy a beautiful wardrobe. Discovering, Ms. Johnson would be making most of the clothes for Marion, was an exciting experience that included lengthy conversations about how clothing added depth and character to the storyline.
Discussing Brad Pitt’s performance, Mr. King commented that Brad plays emotions so well and that was what they focused on. Crafting Pitt’s character was easy with the help of a great screen play and the fact that there have been glimpses of Brad Pitt’s performance in other films which were then enhanced in Allied.
Mr. Zemeckis’ first collaboration with Brad Pitt was great in that he is a leading man, great actor and fit the part perfectly, but Zemeckis favorite part was where Brad Pitt was able to portray the pain and anguish the character was feeling.
Working with Mr. Zemeckis is a pleasure but also challenging, difficult and terrifying as there is usually something being done that has not been done previously per Steve Starkey, but also very rewarding. Bob (Zemeckis) is very organized and therefore everyone knows exactly what needs to be accomplished.
One of my favorite scenes in the film involved an intimate moment in the car during a desert storm. Although not easy to film per Marion, the scene involved a lot of choreography yet also the freedom to be authentic, resulting in very well played scene that gave the audience a true look into the feelings and emotions between the characters without the usual sex scenario.
Allied is in theaters, November 23, 2016 will leave the audience impacted as dramatic and emotional scene after scene leads to an over the top ending that left many of us – speechless!