French Morocco, 1942 - Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) descends into the desert with his parachute. He walks for a few miles before being picked up by a driver. The driver informs Max that someone he is set to meet will be wearing a purple dress, and to "look for the hummingbird."
Max is taken to a club in Casablanca. He finds the woman, Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard). She instantly knows who he is and goes to excitedly greet him with a kiss. They pose as husband and wife to Marianne's friends before they leave. As they drive away, Marianne compliments Max on making a convincing appearance, but she criticizes his Parisian accent.
Max and Marianne are both engaged in a mission to take down a Nazi ambassador. They work on their ruse as spouses by living together and trying to make their charade convincing.
The two meet with the ambassador, Hobar (August Diehl). Marianne does most of the talking as she tries to convince Hobar that Max is her French assistant. Max attempts a card trick to impress Hobar, but he picks the wrong card.
They continue working on their mission, which includes firing their weapons, as well as Marianne continuing the effort to make their appearance as a couple look real. They end up making love for the first time in Max's car in the middle of a sandstorm.
The two attend a party with multiple Nazi officials in attendance. When Hobar goes up to speak, there is a large explosion outside. Max and Marianne seize the opportunity to start shooting at the Nazis. Max shoots Hobar first, but the man is still alive until Max shoots him in the head. Marianne kills one Nazi in front of his wife, and she nearly kills the woman until Max pulls her away. They continue shooting at Nazis until they make their getaway.
With the mission over, Max and Marianne prepare to part ways, but he invites her to join him in London where they can get married. She agrees to join him and they wed.
World War II begins as an air raid falls over London. Marianne is in labor and is forced out of the hospital as bombs start dropping. Max stands by her side, and Marianne gives birth to a baby girl that they name Anna.
After a year, Max and Marianne have grown accustomed to their life as a family. They have truly fallen in love. Max is called in to meet with a commanding officer, Frank Heslop (Jared Harris), as well as an S.O.E. official (Simon McBurney). They inform Max that Marianne is suspected of being a German spy. Another woman by the name of Marianne Beausejour had died, and she took on her identity as a spy. Furthermore, it's revealed that Hobar was a dissident, and Hitler had already wanted him dead. The official orders Max to kill Marianne, or both of them will be shot. Max is infuriated that such a claim would be made, but he decides to investigate the truth.
Max plans to hold a party for Frank and other officials to see that Marianne is who she says she is. Max goes to his sister Bridget's (Lizzy Caplan) home to invite her and her partner Louise (Charlotte Hope).
Max visits an old associate of Marianne's named Guy Sangster (Matthew Goode). Max finds Guy in an asylum of sorts, where he operates a wheelchair, and his face has been horribly disfigured after being shot at. Max tries to show Guy a photo of Marianne on their wedding day so he can identify her, but Guy's right eye was shot off, and the retina in his left eye is dislodged, so he can only see a white figure. He screams at Max for what has happened to him, but also refers him to another man who may have the answers he seeks.
The party goes on at Max and Marianne's home. Numerous guests are in attendance, with many of them getting intimate around the house. During the party, an air raid occurs. A German plane is shot out of the sky and goes hurtling in the direction of the party. Max runs upstairs to get Anna, but Marianne already has her. He protects them as the plane goes over the house but crashes nearby.
Max and some fellow soldiers go to a prison to meet Paul Delamare (Thierry Fremont), another former associate of Marianne's. The soldiers take a guard's keys at gunpoint to go into Paul's cell. He is very drunk and he pukes when Max wakes him up. Paul tries to go for his flask, but Max takes it away until Paul answers his questions. He shows Paul the picture of Marianne and asks if he knows who she is. Paul's answers mostly confirm her identity until he mentions that when he saw her, she played a song on the piano like a goddess. This throws Max back. He is then alerted that German soldiers are approaching as some of them are trying to procure American cigarettes. Max and his comrades shoot at the Germans, with Max even throwing a grenade at their convoy before shooting the soldiers dead.
Max brings Marianne to an establishment where he asks her to play the piano, specifically the same song that Paul mentioned. Marianne closes the piano, as she knows what this is about. She starts crying as she didn't think she would have been found out. Max is furious, but he asks her if she really loved him. Marianne sincerely states that she does love him and the life they built together.
Max plans to take Marianne and Anna away. He kills their nanny and some jewelers as they were involved with Marianne's business as a spy, and now he has cut ties. They go to an airfield where Max tries to get a plane started, but Frank and other soldiers arrive. Frank confronts Max and is preparing to take him in for treason. Marianne gently sets Anna down in the backseat and takes a gun from the glove compartment. She gets out of the car and tells Max she loves him and to take care of Anna. She turns her back and shoots herself in the head. Max takes his jacket off and covers Marianne's body. Frank tells the other soldiers to report that Max killed Marianne by his own hand.
The final scene shows that Marianne had written a letter for Anna to read when she was older. She expresses how she loved her, Max, and the year they had together in London. The last thing we see as Marianne's voiceover finishes is an older Max and Anna walking down the field of their current home.
*CUT TO THE CHASE*
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Max Vatan is an intelligence officer who meets with a Resistance fighter named Marianne Beausejour to take down a Nazi ambassador. After the mission, they fall in love, get married, and have a baby girl named Anna.
Max learns that Marianne is suspected of being a German spy. After doing some investigation, Marianne confirms to him that she really is a spy, but her feelings for Max were genuine. They try to make a getaway, but Max's commanding officer finds them. To avoid Max getting in trouble, Marianne commits suicide in front of them after telling Max she loves him and to take care of Anna.
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