Belle (2013)Posted: February 13, 2015
In lieu of outfit posts, I thought I’d use this break to do a few movie reviews, since I haven’t done one in a while. So here we have “Belle” (2013), the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), a mixed race natural (read: illegitimate) daughter of a British naval officer. She is raised as an aristocrat by her great-uncle (Tom Wilkinson), but remains an outcast in society due to the color of her skin. When she becomes an heiress, she catches the eyes of a young gentleman (James Norton). At the same time, she is drawn to an idealistic young lawyer (Sam Reid), who’s challenging her great-uncle’s ruling of the Zong Massacre.
The story, when you take away the racial issue, is a very standard “costume drama” plot: a young lady must choose between two suitors. But it is the racial issue that elevates it and makes it a much more fascinating movie. Which is a good thing, because the actual romance is kind of predictable, but the drama is involving enough that it doesn’t really matter.
Some other good points: Gugu Mbatha-Raw is gorgeous, the costumes are drool-worthy, and Tom Felton, who essentially played an 18th century Muggle version of Draco Malfoy, is awesome. Highly recommended even if you’re not into period drama.