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BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle's lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing. While her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) chases suitors for marriage, Belle is left on the sidelines wondering if she will ever find love. After meeting an idealistic young vicar's son bent on changing society,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A good-looking and exceedingly polite film where perhaps a more complex one with less good manners would have been better."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"Luminous British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings a hope and intelligent hunger to Dido. She's loved by her family enough to have a sense of belonging but hemmed in by broader cultural realities to experience moments of unease."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"Though having the kind of pedestrian pace which often hits British costume dramas (Keira Knightley's 2008 film The Duchess excepted), Belle is sumptuously filmed and feels relevant."
‑ Graham Young, Birmingham Mail
"A finely wrought tale of a woman out of time, a film that plays eloquently upon the heartstrings as it interweaves familiar personal intrigue with stirring social history."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"This inextricable intertwining of love and justice, private and public, personal and political, is the film's great cri de coeur and its structural brilliance, as costume and courtroom drama comment on, and merge into, each other."
‑ Sophie Mayer, Sight and Sound
"It's an old-fashioned movie with a very modern streak, centered by a vibrant star turn by Mbatha-Raw, whose watchful, wise Dido makes an enchanting heroine."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"The film simply looks lovely, never moreso than when Mbatha-Raw is on screen."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"The teenage Dido Elizabeth Belle is impressively played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw with a tender sensibility and a growing awareness."
‑ Kate Muir, Times [UK]
"Loosely inspired by the true story of a mixed-race woman who mingled with the aristocracy of 18th-century England, Belle is a frock flick with a difference... In this costume drama something is actually going on beneath the bonnet."
‑ Jason Best, Movie Talk
"Wonderful true story about a mixed-race woman raised in an aristocratic British family in the late 18th century; like the best Jane Austen romance with an angry social conscience."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"Charming and stirring."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Belle presents an interesting history lesson, one that had significant repercussions, but some of the developments in this storyline turn out to be woefully convenient."
‑ Connie Ogle, Miami Herald
"The film works as both an intimate character piece and as a broader glimpse into socioeconomic conflicts regarding tolerance and perception."
‑ Todd Jorgenson,
"The direction from Amma Assante is perfectly judged and impeccably paced and the result is a film which is very easy on the eye but has a lot to say for itself."
‑ George Byrne, Irish Independent
"The plot feels like a Jane Austen novel infused with a hot-potato political issue, but this is actually a true story."
‑ Rich Cline,
More reviews for Belle on Rotten Tomatoes