Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) is a young illegitimate Mulatto girl. Her father (Sir John Lindsay-Matthew Goode) is white but her deceased mother was a black slave. Her father can’t take care of her so he arranges for her to live with her uncle (Lord Mansfield-Tom Wilkinson), aunt (Lady Ashford-Miranda Richardson) and their adopted daughter (Elizabeth-Sarah Gadon).
Belle grows up and becomes a beautiful, intelligent, well educated and cultured woman but she is caught in limbo as far as her social status. For example she can eat with the family unless there are guests when she must eat by herself. Any nobleman is unlikely to marry her due to her inadequate social standing.
Lord Mansfield is a Judge who needs to make a ruling on an important case involving whether or not slaves can be insured as cargo. If they can’t, then the slave trade in England is kaput! Lord Mansfield is under great pressure to rule that slaves can be insured as cargo because if he doesn’t then the whole fabric of British society will be shaken to its core!
Belle gets very interested in the case which is passionately being followed by John Divinier (Sam Reid) who is quite taken with Belle.
The ensemble acting is first rate (Director-Amma Asante), especially Wilkinson. This is a true story and an interesting one. The photography is exquisite as are the costumes.
If you like period pieces this film is one you will enjoy.
Rating-8.0-top 20 movie worth a trip to the BS