Hi everyone! The movie I am reviewing for you today is Belle. I love this movie! The movie takes place in the late 18th century, and centers around Dido Elizabeth Belle. It is even based on a true story. Dido Belle’s father was a well respected British captain, and her mother was a slave. After her mother dies, her father takes her to live with his Aunt and Uncle, Lord and Lady Mansfield. Lord Mansfield is a judge, and the second most powerful person in England aside from the king. They are already raising their other niece, Elizabeth, who is a year older than Dido.
Dido and Elizabeth
As Dido grows older she realizes she is not treated quite like her cousin. Though her Aunt, Uncle, and cousin love her, and treat her with respect, she is not allowed to dine with the family when they have guest, and never has a real “coming out”. When her father dies she is left with a fortune and becomes an heiress. Because of her sudden wealth, Oliver Ashford, the younger, poorer son of Lord Ashford, proposes. She accepts him, believing it is her only hope for marriage. However, after an unpleasant run in with his brother she breaks off the engagement.
The Ashford brothers
As the movie progresses Dido realizes she has fallen in love with John Davinier, a young lawyer. Unfortunately, he is involved in the Zong case, in which slaves were thrown off a ship because they were worth more dead than alive to the slave traders. Her uncle is the judge of the case, and has differing views from Davinier, who believes the slaves were cruelly murdered. Therefore, her uncle does not approve of Davinier.
Dido and Davinier
As the ruling nears, tensions rise and racial prejudices grows. Will Dido’s uncle do the right thing, and vote in favor of the insurance companies, who refuse to pay for murdered slaves? Or will he choose to keep his popular reputation? The movie was awesome! Showing a realistic portrayal of the racial prejudice of the time, while making it clear that prejudice is wrong. The acting was superb! I would highly recommend the movie to lovers of Amazing Grace or Pride and Prejudice. The character of Dido is very similar to that of Elizabeth Bennet, with all her wit and personality. The movie is rated PG, and has one mildly violent scene that may be to intense for younger viewers. We did not watch it with my younger siblings, who are both under ten. If you love British dramas this movie is for you! ~Ally
A portrait of the real life Dido and Elizabeth, painted in the late 1700’s.