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Belle [Blu-ray]

Gugu Mbatha-Raw , Matthew Goode , Amma Asante    To Be Announced   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: 18.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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This title will be released on October 20, 2014.
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Frequently Bought Together

Belle [Blu-ray] + Grace Of Monaco [Blu-ray] [2014] [Region Free] + Two Faces Of January [Blu-ray]
Price For All Three: 48.75

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Product details

  • Actors: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson, Sarah Gadon, Emily Watson
  • Directors: Amma Asante
  • Producers: Damian Jones
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 20 Oct 2014
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KW5KBO8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,511 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Reviews

Product Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ethereal Script and Setting 23 Jun 2014
Format:Blu-ray
A beautiful film, set in Georgian England during and after the year 1769.

It possesses a moral and intellectual message about the delicate social and marital position of Dido, an upper class young woman of mixed race and considerable inherited wealth.

A parallel storyline relates to the marriage prospects of Dido's equally enticing stepsister, Elizabeth, who is white but does not enjoy the added monetary allure for potential suitors of her own personal wealth.

Elizabeth's expectations of a 'good' marriage, while notably less precarious than those of Dido, nonetheless hang by a thread.

All the while there is a pending court judgment in which an appeal in the case of the slave ship 'Zong' is to be decided by Lord Mansfield, the Lord Chief Justice. The decision in 1783 is seen as a landmark case which seriously undermined the credibility the slave trade in the UK.

This all followed a major judgment by Lord Mansfield in 1772 in the James Somerset case when he ordered the release of a black slave held in England - to the considerable dismay of the powerful slave lobby. The film seems to combine the two cases within the 'Zong' judgment

Lord Mansfield is kin and carer for the two young women.

This is a wonderful, classy 'historical' movie. Its theme is both enthralling and uplifting.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love in the time of bigotry 1 July 2014
Format:DVD
Forget The Fault in Our Stars - here's a romance for all ages, complete with a strong moral core, a blazing humanism, a muscular feminism, and a tidy history lesson to boot. It's more than simply a little sister to 12 Years a Slave. Both are based on remarkable true stories; but while Steve McQueen's film depicted the Atlantic slave experience on the ground, Amma Asante's puts slavery, and the start of the end of slavery, in the long shot context of British legal history.

In terms of setting this is as far removed as possible from Solomon Northup's Deep Southern hell, set in the stately rooms of a London society home whose servants are free and paid. The patriarch, William Murray (Tom Wilkinson), has an adopted daughter, Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), who is of an age where a lady would "come out" and find a suitor. Here the phrase has a double meaning: in "coming out", the Murray family are publicly acknowledging the existence of their exotic novelty. Reputation is everything, and the 1st Earl of Mansfield has everything to lose.

The concurrent storylines concerning the potential marriage of Belle and the trial of the slave ship Zong are well-balanced, carefully avoiding crassness, with the former acting as a mirror against which the outcome of the latter is reflected. At times the film does succumb to the fallacious Hollywood notion that history has been defined by individual "Eureka!" moments. The sight of William overhearing an impassioned John Davinier (Sam Reid) spelling out the concept of equality is fanciful, although I suppose as a shorthand way of depicting changing attitudes it works. Are we to believe that William was ultimately swayed by the force of Davinier's love for Belle?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Lola TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Amma Assante's new film, "Belle", tells a story of Dido, the illegitimate child of a black slave and first Earl of Mansfield. There was no-one else like her in British high society - black and intelligent and kind-hearted and rich. Besides, Dido's position as a beloved member of her adopted family was simply unprecedented, with her adopted father being the most important legal authority of his time, William Murray (who, at that time, was deeply involved in the case of Zong ship - google it - cargo of slaves and insurance fraud, and the step towards abolition of slavery).

"Belle" has it all - it's a drama, a romance, an intriguing account of women's destiny and place in the Eighteenth Century Britain. The cast and acting are also impressive. If you love historical drama with a hint of romance - definitely check this out! In fact, I cannot stop raving about this 5-star film!

You can still see the painting, which inspired this beautiful and lavish Austen-esque society drama - in the Ambassador's Room of the Murray's family Scone Palace, near Perth, Scotland.
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