which is Robert Zemeckis's deft and diverting World War II romantic thriller, operates a bit like
in reverse. There are some similarities between the films, but I don't want to press the comparison too far. For one thing, there is more Alfred
than Michael Curtiz in this movie's DNA. For another, whereas
put forth a spine-stiffening anti-fascist call to arms,
offers the comforts of elegant escapism. Its moral complexities and political ambiguities are intriguing rather than troubling, its ethical and emotional agonies a diversion from rather than a reflection of our own. Which is just fine with me. There are nits to pick, of course. Mr. Pitt, playing a Canadian wing commander in the Royal Air Force, has apparently drawn inspiration from the trees in the great forests of the North. He is handsome, trim and efficient, but the same might be said of a wooden canoe, and his character's stoical reserve often feels more like an empty space than a deep pool of untapped feeling. They are puffy and sentimental, the cinematic equivalent of a cloying dessert following an otherwise well-prepared meal.
Robert Zemeckis has a vastly diverse slate of motion pictures to his credit, but it's not unfair to associate him with a certain technological fixation on stunt-gizmo cinema. Once in a while, though, Zemeckis makes a film that reminds you what a terrific director he can be when he works the old-fashioned way, staging unadorned human drama without the safety net of cutting-edge visual flimflam.
is tense and absorbing in the style of
the film's climactic act somehow falls short.
Zemeckis and company don't make any obvious missteps, but the movie, in trying to reach out and tug on our heartstrings, goes soft regarding what the Marianne we're presented with would choose to do. You believe that she loves Max, but there's another side to her devotion that washes away far too easily. The result is that
inspires most of the old-movie reactions it's going for except one: It never makes you swoon.
A lot of prerelease gossip has attended this
plonkingly slow and clonkingly laborious
wartime thriller starring Brad Pitt as dashing Canadian airman Max Vatan and Marion Cotillard as Marianne Beausejour, the lissom French spy with whom he falls in love. Their screen passion bursts forth
like a cold wet teabag falling out of a mug
that you have upended over the kitchen sink and don't much feel like washing up. Their
rapport fizzes like a quarter-inch of bin juice left after you have taken the rubbish out.
At this stage,
could have summoned up a bit of intimate suspense, some
suspicion, and Knight does in fact unveil an interesting further twist: another level of potential bad faith. But
this isn't resolved very satisfyingly
the final big reveal feels anti-climactic, with unanswered questions concerning Marianne.
It seems like tourist cinema: a tourist visit to the heritage-wartime past, with Max and Marianne looking like uncomfortable tourists in each other's languages and in each other's lives.
Despite being married, they always look like strangers;
the stars look as if they are intent on squashing rumours by behaving as if they have just emerged from their trailers and have yet to be introduced.
Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies in love in a steamy World War II drama called
where there are more romantic fireworks than tanks and explosions.
turns out to be a slower wartime romance in which Pitt plays Max Vattan, a British assassin sent to
to kill a high ranking Nazi officer. We see early on how deadly Max can be, but he's been assigned to create the ruse of being married to Marion Cotillard's Marianne Beausejorge, an equally deadly French agent. Pretending to be married eventually drives them closer together and Max and Marianne decide to get married for real, despite the warnings from Max's commander. Marianne soon becomes pregnant as they settle down in England to lead a more domestic life.
The ending is quite grim
if you're expecting any type of old Hollywood ride into the sunset, but if you enjoy slightly awkward romance during wartime,
is worth a fling.
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