I don't watch much modern cinema these days but when a film set in 1940's London presents itself, well it would be rude not to.
Much has been made of the film "Allied" featuring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard and vintage circles have gone crazy for the costume design thanks to Joanna Johnson.
Pitt (Max Vatan) and Cotillard (Marianne Beauséjour) meet in North Africa on a secret mission, neither have met before but they will be living and working together until their mission is complete. Both just happen to be completely sexy and not ravaged by war.
Marianne appears as a live for the moment gal and draws the somewhat more business like Max into her world of throwing caution to the wind. As it turns out caution to the wind will get you pregnant!
Fast forward to London and the couple marry despite Max's boss giving him words of warning about relationships in the workplace. But there is already a bun in the oven so a quick wartime marriage is the least that could be expected.
The couple are living in bliss in Hampstead with a beautiful daughter, Marianne plays the dutiful housewife whilst Max continues with his war work. What could possibly go wrong?
When Max is called into the office he is expecting to be offered a promotion but instead is informed that his wife may be a spy of a different kind (don't you hate it when that happens?) and sending information back to the Germans. Max's furious outburst at his superiors is forgiven (Max seems to get away with a lot in this movie that would not have gone down well in the 1940's military) when he agreed to test his wife to find out once and for all.
Max is not convinced that Marianne could possibly be hiding such a dark and terrible secret but no sooner than he agrees is the seed of doubt planted and he starts to imagine a different side to his wife, the spy he met and married whilst barely knowing her.
I of course won't spoil the ending, the film is a good watch for the 1940's romanticist of course but the actual story, despite it being a long film, felt a little rushed and incomplete.
The characters who surround the couple seem somewhat redundant for most of the film, especially Max's sister, the out of the closet lesbian, which I found very annoying to be frank because 2 women making open references to their relationship and french kissing in public in 1940's would not have been socially acceptable and to pretend it would cheapens the struggle LGBT people had during those years (and beyond) also it wasn't relevant to the story in any way so I am not sure of the motivation for it.
Aside from a few scenes in which planes crash or there is an air raid, other than Max's job being a reference point, the realities of living in wartime are lost in this movie so if thats the kind of realism your looking for then it may not be for you.
If your looking for some escapism you might enjoy it, the costume work is amazing and deserves all the press attention it has been getting, and as stories go it's enjoyable and does make you do some guess work as to Marianne's status.
The Wartime Wardrobe Round Up
Marianne's day wardrobe in North Africa is a feast for the eyes, very stylish and classic
A killer dress for a killer scene - this gown took my breath away and was shot in such a beautiful way that you could see every movement of the fabric on camera - worth buying the DVD just to slow-mo this dress
The character also has some serious loungewear game in this film, I had robe envy!
There is a scene in which Marianne's wardrobe is open and I spotted the shoulders of this dress then, sadly you don't get to see much of it in the film so I had to imagine the rest.
Note to self - if I ever marry a man in a blue suit wear a powder blue 40's dress - I loved this wedding outfit so much!
London calling - calling for heavier coats and scarves. Marianne may not have such a stylish wardrobe in the London scenes but she is stereotypically British in her attire which I loved.
Coats replace the lounge wear in the London scenes and although the history buff in me wants to complain that most people wouldn't have had endless amounts of coats the fashion fan in me loved looking at them.
Oddly this is one of my favourite pieces from the movie, this sweet little floral shirt which wouldn't look out of place in Cath Kidson.
So there you have it, my round up of my favourite outfits of the movie.
I hope you enjoyed looking at them too!
All images are property of Paramount Pictures.
Until next time