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. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
When Elizabeth and Dido play the piano, the sound heard is that of a large modern piano, not that of the small eighteenth-century one we see on the screen. Also, the keys of the piano look improbably old, considering that pianos had only been invented a few decades earlier and were just at the beginning of their widespread popularity, so that most pianos in use, particularly those in amateur-musician households, would have been fairly new. See more »
Captain Sir John Lindsay:
How lovely she is. So much of her mother. Do not be afraid. I am here to take you to a good life. A life that you were born to. Here.
[offers a candy]
[tries it with curiosity]
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I was so excited when I found a little indie theater 40 minutes away was airing Belle. I already knew I wanted to see this film by virtue of it being a historical drama/romance that put a biracial woman front and center. I love period films, but as a genre they are sorely lacking representation of POC characters. I walked out of the theater stunned at this passionate story of love, justice, acceptance, and society. It's slow-burning, to be sure. I was getting worried the first half hour. It seemed like this would be a black and white (no pun intended) morality play of good, open-hearted people pitted against evil racists. It's true that some characters fall plainly on one side or another, but as the movie goes on, the roles start to become blurred. It becomes a story of people who are caught between the clear-cut lines society has placed. If you can find a theater playing Belle, go see it as soon as possible. Films like this deserve all the attention they can get.
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