Ratings: Out of 5★ ✮ ✯ ✰ ☆
Friday 13th June 2014
BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (GUGU MBATHA-RAW), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (TOM WILKINSON) and his wife (EMILY WATSON), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.
For years my thought has been that period dramas have not been for me. Often with fabulous landscapes and costumes, they’ve been beautiful to watch, but there has always been a sense of that something missing – black people.
Now I know that there are plenty of films which suffer from the same absence, but it has always been more striking with a period drama. I’ve been given that ‘Midsomers Murders’ ‘the last bastion of Englishness’ type of excuse many times, but I know that black British history in London stretches back long before the Windrush docked, so the story has always felt a little lopsided. Then arrives Belle, possibly a one off, but equally beautiful to many a period drama that has come before it.
Belle is all of the things I mentioned above, beautiful landscapes, beautiful to watch, very London society. It tells the fantastic and at times fascinating true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle a mixed race woman who grew up in 18th Century England at Kenwood. We see Dido entering society to find a marriage match, in the midst of the landmark Zong ship trial – which rivets the world’s attention to slavery’s inhumanity. It is for all of this, a love story, and well worth seeing. #Beautiful – Don’t miss it. Rated: 5 – ★✩ ✮ ✯ ✰
You can find a cinema nearest you showing the film by visiting: http://belle.foxfilmbookings.com/shows
If you do the Facebook or Twitter thing remember to use the hashtag: #BelleMovie
Director: Amma Asante.
Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sarah Gadon, Penelope Wilton, Miranda Richardson, Sam Reid, Tom Felton, Matthew Goode, James Norton
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D) (12A)
T.S. Spivet lives on a remote ranch in Montana with his parents, his sister Gracie and his brother Layton. A gifted child with a passion for science, he has invented a perpetual motion machine, for which he has been awarded the prestigious Baird Prize by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. He leaves a note for his family and hops a freight train to make his way across the United States and receive his prize.
But no one there suspects that the lucky winner is a ten-year-old child with a very dark secret…
The story is told through the thoughts and memories of T.S as he works his way toward collecting his award. I was thoroughly charmed by it. Kyle Catlett’s (T.S Spivet ) acting really holds the attention, and it was lovely to see Helena Bonham Carter in an almost straight role.
You can’t help smiling and loving T.S’s adventures and spirit. It’s beautifully told, and beautifully shown, with the 3D images floating out of the screen at you. Comic in all the right places, worrying and inspiring. I loved this film. Rated: 4 – ✮ ✯ ✰☆
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Kyle Catlett, Robert Maillet, Callum Keith Rennie
Other films this week:
Friday 13 June 2014
• 112 Weddings (PG) – Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples – with funny, insightful and deeply moving results. Director: Doug Block. Starring: Doug Block.
• Devil’s Knot (15) – The savage murders of three young children sparks a controversial trial of three teenagers accused of killing the kids as part of a satanic ritual. Director: Atom Egoyan. Starring: Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, Amy Ryan, Mireille Enos, Stephen Moyer, Alessandro Nivola, Dane DeHaan.
• The Man Whose Mind Exploded (15) (London & Brighton only. Rest of UK 1st July) – The story of Drako Zarharzar whose mantra, tattooed on his arm, is ‘Trust, Absolute, Unconditional’. Robbed by amnesia of his capacity to create new memories, he lives almost entirely in the present. Even the parts of his life that he can remember are remarkable: a muse for Salvador Dalí, and performer for Derek Jarman and Andy Warhol. Director: Toby Amies. Starring: Toby Amies, Drako Zarharzar.
• Oculus – Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether. Director: Mike Flanagan. Starring: Karen Gillen, Katie Sackhoff, Brenton Twaites.
• Of Horses And Men (15) – A darkly comedic, episodic tale of the lives of a remote Icelandic community and the deeply intertwined and highly emotive relationships with their horses. Director: Benedict Erlingsson. Starring: Ingvar E. Sigurðsson, Charlotte Bøving.
• A Perfect Plan (15) – A successful woman in love tries to break her family curse of every first marriage ending in divorce, by dashing to the alter with a random stranger before marrying her boyfriend. Director: Pascal Chaumeil. Starring: Diane Kruger, Danny Boon.