Belle

Theatrical Release: May 2, 2014
DVD Release: August 26, 2014
Belle
Dove "Family-Approved"
For Ages 12 and Over

Synopsis

Limited Theatrical Release – Belle is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. 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.

Dove Review

“Belle” is a remarkable and compelling drama, inspired by true events! Gugu Mbatha-Raw is terrific as Dido Elizabeth Belle, a woman that had a British Admiral for her father and a slave woman for her mother. Her father eventually goes overseas, never to return, and Dido’s mother dies. She goes to live with Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson), which allows her social privileges. She also inherits her father’s fortune. She eventually meets a young man named Oliver Ashford (James Norton) that takes a liking to her. However, Oliver’s brother is “repulsed” by the idea of his brother romancing a woman of mixed breeding.

The movie powerfully demonstrates that, despite her station in life, Dido still has prejudices and racial tensions to deal with in her social life which almost overwhelms her with frustration. “Belle” features breathtaking cinematography and top notch acting and a tight story. We are happy to award the film our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages twelve plus. This period piece contains life situations and difficulties that are relatable to modern audiences. We are pleased that this movie has earned five Doves from us. Get to the theater soon to see it.

Content Description

Sex: A man hints to his brother that he would like to have sex with a woman; a brother replies that one should sample a woman on the cotton fields of India; a mother warns her son about having "intercourse" with a woman.
Language: Good Lord-5; D-1
Violence: A frustrated woman hits herself in her head, chest and arms; a man roughly grabs a woman; the mention of slaves that were violently treated on a ship.
Drugs: Wine with meals; wine at a party, the mention of "crying drunks"; pipe smoking.
Nudity: Cleavage in several scenes due to the clothing of the period; a close-up of cleavage in one scene; nude statues are seen a few times with some of them covering up private parts.
Other: Tension and arguments between several characters; racial attitudes; the subject of slavery and its bondage to people; a man that likes a woman of mixed races is told it is "repulsive".

Info

Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
Source: Theater
Company: 20th Century Fox Home Ent.
Writer: Misan Sagay
Director: Amma Asante
Producer: Damian Jones
Genre: Limited
Runtime: 104 min.
Industry Rating: PG
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw,
Matthew Goode
Emily Watson