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Belle (2013)

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The mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th-century England.

Director:

Amma Asante

Writer:

Misan Sagay
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4,621 ( 240)
14 wins & 27 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Goode ... Captain Sir John Lindsay
Lauren Julien-Box Lauren Julien-Box ... Young Dido
Natasha Williams Natasha Williams ... Poor Woman
Alan McKenna ... Harry
Penelope Wilton ... Lady Mary Murray
Cara Jenkins Cara Jenkins ... Young Elizabeth
Emily Watson ... Lady Mansfield
Tom Wilkinson ... Lord Mansfield
Sarah Gadon ... Elizabeth Murray
Gugu Mbatha-Raw ... Dido Elizabeth Belle
Miranda Richardson ... Lady Ashford
James Norton ... Oliver Ashford
Tom Felton ... James Ashford
Timothy Walker Timothy Walker ... Wimbridge
Sam Reid ... John Davinier
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some language and brief smoking images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 2014 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Белль See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,900,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$106,578, 4 May 2014

Gross USA:

$10,726,630

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,607,575
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Zong massacre case, known officially as Gregson v. Gilbert (1783), was not the landmark, pro-abolition decision the film portrayed it to be. It avoided the issue of slavery altogether, and never actually reached a final decision. Lord Chief Justice William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, called for another trial which never came to court. It is assumed that the matter was settled privately. Lord Mansfield presided over an earlier case that became very important to the abolitionist movement. In Somerset v. Stewart (1772), Lord Mansfield concluded that slavery could only be legal through statute, and since such statute did not exist, there was no legal basis for slavery in England and Wales. The film steals a line from Somerset v. Stewart and uses it in Gregson v. Gilbert to use the wider implications of Somerset v. Stewart for dramatic effect. In the film, Lord Mansfield's judgment shows that there was enough evidence to suggest that the slavers committed fraud, and that Lord Mansfield personally disliked the idea of slavery. He says nothing about the legality of slavery in England and Wales, or the legality of insuring humans as cargo. See more »

Goofs

When Elizabeth and Dido play the piano, it sounds like a large modern piano, not the small 18th-century piano onscreen. Its keys look very old, even though pianos had existed for a few decades, and had just become popular. Most pianos in use at the time would have been fairly new. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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]
Young Dido: [tries it with curiosity]
See more »

Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Suite in G Minor, HWV 439, Allemande
Composed by George Frideric Handel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Slow-Burning Gem

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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