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Drama - Historic

Belle (2013)

Duration 1h 40m Rating (UK) 12A
Source of story This outing was inspired by a true story about which little is known, apart from the existance of   portrait of a mixed race young woman together with her cousin, commissioned by Lord Mansfield then Lord Chief Justice of England.
Writers/Script Misan Sagay (after arbitration, since the director had also worked on the script).
Additional Info Historians consider that the film took considerable liberties even with the known facts, one saying that he was reminded of a Morcambe and Wise sketch, where Eric is playing the piano “the right notes, but in the wrong order”.
Director Amma Asante
Starring Penelope Wilton, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miranda Richardson, James Norton, Tom Felton, Alex Jennings,
Elevator Pitch In the late 19th century Lord Mansfield, then Lord Chief Justice of England, becomes the custodian of his two great nieces, one as a result of a nephew marrying again after her mother has died, and the other being thrust upon him by a nephew who is a naval Captain, the girl being the result of his liaison with a black slave. The latter causes problems because of her colour, and also because she campaigns for justice in the case of a slave ship captain who threw many slaves overside during a voyage and then claimed insurance.
Content The young women attend gatherings in the Mansfield dwelling, and parties both in houses and out in the open air in London. There are decorous exchanges in the style of the time. The mixed race young woman becomes involved with a young man campaigning for justice, in the case of the slave ship massacre. There are a variety of serious discussions and arguments. Some time in court. Will it all work out? Nothing   at all unsuitable, although the camera does focus on the swelling bosoms a bit.
A View Quite well thought of by the critics, this was a fairly low budget outing, which seems to have made a little money (in movie terms). It fits in as a period drama, probably best suited to Sunday afternoon viewing. It is not a waste of time since the actors do well, and the scenes of English country houses and countryside are sumptuous.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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