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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A love story and the value of being honest to yourself is what Belle
is about. This movie transports you to the 1700s England. Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle "Belle", this tale is about a young mulato girl named Belle that is brought into her father's house and caretaker of her great-uncle Lord Mansfield a honorable Chief Judge and wife. Belle has all the rights and privileges of upper society but her face reflects her slave mother and the prevailing social prejudice keeps her from being totally accepted into the formal social circles. At the same time, she befriends her cousin, who she considers a sister and is also given residence to this estate after her mother dies and her father abandons her. This story is beautifully layered with the issues of equality and slavery but is not preachy. It merely shows how the matters of the heart can't be prevented by the color of your skin. This coming of age story is masterfully told. I saw this film as part of the Atlanta Film Festival.
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