Beautifully romantic and craftily written, “Belle” fulfills the insatiable appetite for those who love drama. Set in 1779, the film details the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, a mulatto child who grows up into wealth and fortune. When it is time for Belle and Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon), her cousin, to find suitors, issues of race, love and wealth come into centerfold.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw may be new to audiences but her performance as Belle shows otherwise. She was strong, sentimental and lovely as the title character. Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson are captivating in each performance they give and this film is no exception. Lady Mary Murray (Penelope Wilton) provided the humorous moments of the film. Even in another century Tom Felton, as James Ashford, a potential husband for Elizabeth, still plays an asshole. James seemed born and bred to hate Negros and even more Belle as his brother, Lord Ashford (Alex Jennings) was set to marry her.
The film tells of a time of history and hatred toward the Negro, a word commonly a part of the film’s language, while not being overwhelming. The location of English countryside was gorgeous. Director Amma Assante gives exquisite details in each scene with the aristocracy and history.
This film is a crowd-pleaser and a must-see film for its ability to hold the mind with delivery of thought-provoking language. Oh, and the costumes are a treat for the eyes.