Watch Belle

"Based on the inspiring true story"
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 1 hr 44 min
  • 7.3  (32,673)
  • 64

Belle is a 2013 historical drama film directed by Amma Asante and written by Misan Sagay. The film is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed-race woman who lived in England in the late 18th century. The film stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw in the titular role, with Matthew Goode, Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Sarah Gadon, Sam Reid, and Tom Felton in supporting roles.

The story of Belle is set in the late 1700s when England is at its height of prosperity and has established a robust trade system with its colonies in America and Africa. The daughter of a Royal Navy captain, Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode), Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle and aunt, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson), in their elegant Hampstead home. The young Belle struggles to find acceptance among the high society due to her mixed-race background.

However, her life changes when her father brings her back to his family and leaves her in the care of his uncle and aunt as he goes back to sea. Belle becomes an integral part of the household and is loved by her aunt and uncle, but is constantly reminded of her social status by her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon), who resents her for her mixed-race status.

Belle finds a kindred spirit in John Davinier (Sam Reid), a young lawyer who is employed by Lord Mansfield. Together they work to bring about a change in society's views on slavery and racism, which is the central theme of the film. The story takes a turn when Belle learns about the Zong massacre, a case that was being heard by Lord Mansfield at the time, in which a captain of a slave ship threw overboard over a hundred captive Africans to collect insurance money. Belle becomes involved in the trial as she seeks justice for the victims and becomes a voice for change.

The film tackles the issue of slavery, race and identity, and society's views on women. It shows how Belle navigates through the society, where she is not fully accepted due to her mixed-race status. The film also explores the complexities of the legal system of that time, and how even influential people in society were unable to bring about change easily. The cinematography captures the beauty and elegance of the era, with many scenes set in the countryside and aristocratic homes. The costumes and set design are also noteworthy, depicting the fashion and lifestyle of that era.

The performances are exceptional, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw giving a standout performance as Belle. She embodies the character's frustration, vulnerability and courage to challenge the status quo. Matthew Goode is equally impressive in his role as Belle's father, with Emily Watson and Tom Wilkinson delivering excellent performances as Belle's aunt and uncle respectively. The chemistry between Belle and John Davinier is portrayed well by Sam Reid, who brings a gentle and empathetic approach to the character.

Overall, Belle is a thought-provoking and moving film that delves into issues of race, identity, and social status in a historical context. It does so with sensitivity and insight, highlighting the importance of the struggle for equality and justice in society. The film is a must-watch for anyone interested in historical dramas and stories that explore important issues of today in a historical context.

Belle is a 2013 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 64.

Where to Watch Belle
Belle is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at FuboTV, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Belle for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 44 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (32,673)
  • Metascore