Here at NineteenTeen, we occasionally gather for a virtual tea-party, and discuss a historical film. Please join us today as we discuss the gorgeous drama "Belle"!
Filmed in several of England's stately homes as well as Pinewood Studios, "Belle" has a true story as its kernel. Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed-race daughter of a captain in the British Royal Navy, is orphaned, and then sent to be raised by her grandparents. An ordinary-enough story, except that her grandparents are aristocrats -- and they live in an England which still had the slavery in its overseas colonies, and made great profits off the slave trade.
"Belle" starts with the few facts known about the real Dido Belle, and then creates a fascinating story of what her experiences growing up in England might have been.
The cast is full of well-known names. Here are a few, to help your memory during the discussion!
Belle: Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Lord Mansfield: Tom Wilkinson
Lady Mansfield: Emily Watson
Lady Ashford: Miranda Richardson
James Ashford: Tom Felton (beware Slytherin!)
John Davinier (the love interest): Sam Reid
Elizabeth Murray (the cousin): Sarah Gadon
This film deals with issues of race, of class, of women's freedom and power, of justice, family, and love. And of course it has those costumes! And those gorgeous gardens and country houses. Pretty much everything a person could want in a movie, if you ask me!