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INDY MOVIE REVIEW
 
Belle (2013)
 (ѧ)
 
   
 

Director:Amma Asante Producer:Damian Jones Story: inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Screenplay by:Misan Sagay Music by:Rachel Portman Cinematography:Ben Smithard Edited by:Pia Di Ciaula  Running time:104 min , Victoria Boydell

Country:United Kingdom Language:English Genre:Drama Subtitle:English  Starring:Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Dido Elizabeth Belle,
Tom Wilkinson as William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield
, Miranda Richardson as Lady Ashford, Penelope Wilton as Lady Mary Murray,
Sam Reid as John Davinier
, Matthew Goode as Captain Sir John Lindsay, Emily Watson as Lady Mansfield,
Sarah Gadon as Lady Elizabeth Murray
, Tom Felton[5] as James Ashford, Alex Jennings as Lord Ashford,
James Norton as Oliver Ashford
, James Northcote as Mr Vaughan, Bethan Mary-James as Mabel

 

 

The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.
      BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle''s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar''s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield''s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.


˹ѧҧ:

 

Belle Featurette - Gugu Breakout:

 

Belle Featurette - Behind The Painting:

 

Interview Gugu at CBS:

 

BELLE Featurette: "The Power of Belle":


ҧ: 2 wins & 1 nomination.

 

 

Miami Film Festival 2014

Won
SIGNIS Award

Amma Asante

 

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2014

Won
Directors to Watch

Amma Asante

Nominated
Audience Award

Best Narrative Feature Amma Asante

 

 

Belle is a 2013 British drama film directed by Amma Asante, written by Misan Sagay, and produced by Damian Jones. It stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Sam Reid, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Tom Felton, and James Norton.

The film is inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray at Kenwood House, which was commissioned by their great-uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England. Very little is known about the life of Dido Belle, who was the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of Mansfield''s nephew. She was born in the West Indies and entrusted to the care of Mansfield and his wife. The fictional film centres on Dido''s relationship as a young woman with an aspiring lawyer; it is set at a time of legal significance as a court case is heard on what became known as the Zong massacre, when slaves were thrown overboard from a slave ship and the owner filed with his insurance company for the losses. Lord Mansfield rules on this case in England''s Court of King''s Bench in 1786, in a decision seen to contribute to the abolition of slavery in Britain.

Plot
:
Dido Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy officer, is born in the West Indies. Her father takes her to England, placing her in the care of his uncle, Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice and his wife, who live at Kenwood House estate in London. Though the social mores of the time make Dido an outsider, she is educated and raised in the Mansfield house as an aristocrat alongside her cousin Elizabeth.

Dido''s burgeoning relationship with a young vicar''s son, John Davinier, meets with the disapproval of Mansfield, who considers the match beneath her. At the same time Mansfield is deliberating on a slavery case (Gregson v. Gilbert), for which his ruling will advance the cause of the abolitionists.

User Reviews

A beautiful historical romance/drama

30 May 2014 | by sanda_mo-1 (Canada)

Initially I was excited to see this movie because of Matthew Goode, even though I realized that he only plays a minor role in this film. After seeing the trailer however, the film flew towards the top of my "to watch" list. It still managed to exceed my expectations - interesting, well paced storyline, incredible cast (Tom Wilkinson was absolutely brilliant), intricate and beautiful costumes - definitely a movie that will be enjoyed even by those who are not big fans of period pieces.

The fact that the movie was based on a true story just made it even more impactful. Dido Elizabeth Belle is left in England by her loving Admiral father, to be raised by her aristocratic aunt and uncle - at a time in history when wealth and social standing could not overshadow the fact that she was a mixed race, illegitimate child. Belle''s story of trying to figure out her place in the world and in her family unravels beautifully alongside a closer and deeper look at the racism and sexism plaguing the British society at the time. Add a dash of romance and the result is a beautiful film definitely worth watching.


 


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