Belle is one of the most beautiful movies I've seen in a long time! In it, you will see superb acting, breathtaking costumes, authentic scenery, and historically accurate settings (including manure in the streets).
Based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the film offers enlightening facts about the British slave trade, racism in Great Britain, the status of women and social mores, and even interracial love.
Belle's great uncle, Lord Mansfield, his wife and spinster sister, come to adore Belle (called Dido) and want what's best for her. However, upon Belle's original arrival as a little girl to their home, they are rather annoyed by their nephew's failure to mention her color.
Belle, the daughter of a slave, possesses physical beauty, and she is raised by her paternal family of white, cultured aristocrats. She inherits a dowry upon her father's death, so by having this, as well as her father's name, Belle's color and illegitimacy can be somewhat overlooked, yet tongues would continuously wag of scandal.
Belle's cousin Elizabeth, also raised by her father's family (Belle's father, Admiral Sir John Lindsay, would have been Elizabeth's uncle) is left penniless by her father. So even though Elizabeth is a beautiful, legitimate, cultured white aristocrat, her chances of marrying into the landed gentry appear slim to none. By marrying a woman with a substantial dowry, a man of aristocratic standing could achieve even more political power. Love, however, seldom fit into this equation. It's interesting to see how Belle handles this particular dilemma.
An idealistic young vicar's son challenges Belle's uncle, the Lord Chief Justice, on an insurance case involving the slave trade, and ends up using Belle as his greatest ally in fighting this legal battle. This young man is not considered a gentleman, but nonetheless he stirs Belle's heart!
I loved this movie, my only regret was that I had no tissue with me! There is a happy ending, but lots of sadness along the way.
Have you sen Belle? Thanks for visiting and have a great week!