Synopsis: Based on a true story, it is 18th Century England and Belle (Gugu Mbatha Raw) is the daughter of an Admiral (Matthew Goode) and a black slave. Belle's father asks his uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) to bring up Belle and as she reaches the age of 'coming out' into society she discovers her uncle, who is the most senior judge in the country is presiding over an important insurance case involving a shipment of slaves who were thrown overboard.
Stan's thoughts: This film is a wonderful and disturbing mix of love story, prejudice, racism and history. Belle is brought up as one of the family, almost. In certain social situations she is kept apart so as not to cause social upset but is otherwise loved and cared for as the equal to the Mansfield's other ward their niece Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) with whom she forms a strong sisterly bond.
As the girls reach marrying age their cosy life is challenged. Elizabeth must marry for money. Belle's father has left her a substantial sum but is at best described as 'exotic' by the society she was born into. As she is exposed to more of the world and the case her uncle is involved with, her position in society and her own sense of self are challenged.
Beautifully acted Belle has a dual power of love story and historical drama (with all the usual dramatic license of course), I enjoyed this very much.
- Stan’s 80%
- IMDB 73%
- Metascore 64%
- Rotten Tomatoes 82%
- RT Audience Rating* 88%
* Based on number of people who rated the film 3.5/5 and higher