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
The character Oliver Ashford states he has a commission in the Royal Navy purchased for him. Impossible as commissions have never been sold in the RN, which at the time was the nearest thing to a meritocracy the world had seen. Grease a few palms to get him in as a midshipman? Maybe. As a captain, never. Fleet boards had to be sat, idiots weeded out.
Commissions could be bought and sold in the cavalry and infantry but not, for instance, in the Royal Engineers. Soldiers could be lost to incompetence but not ships or bridges. Far too valuable. 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 just saw an advance screening of BELLE--and I absolutely loved it. The dialog, directing, performances, costumes, locations, and cinematography were all fabulous.
It's based on the mesmerizing and romantic true story of the beautiful, intelligent, mixed race daughter of an admiral, who was raised in Georgian England by her aristocratic great-uncle and his wife. The script hits all the right notes as Belle struggles to find her place in a society that doesn't quite accept her, and with the help of an idealistic young vicar's son (Sam Reid-- fantastic), influences an important anti-slavery case.
Congratulations to director Amma Asante and writer Misan Sagay for bringing this story vividly to life on the screen. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was luminous as Dido Belle, and I think Tom Wilkinson gave the best role of his career. Both are Oscar-worthy performances. The film is highly recommended.
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