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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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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