Gugu Mbatha-Raw takes the title role alongside Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson and Canada’s Sarah Gadon in the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate, bi-racial daughter of a Royal Navy admiral in 18th-century Britain.
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A richly directed film from Amma Asante that offers fair portrayal of Britain's shameful slave trade and double standard social conventions which though is often emotionally manipulative never pulls it punches from social realism. Richly acted all around with kudos to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon and Tom Wilkinson. A wonderfully written film that may well be heir apparent to the Merchant-Ivory canon.
Historically significant story, fabulous costumes and a love interest too. Recommended if you like this sort of thing, though I take a few points off for the shmaltzy mood "music", a Hollywood convention unfortunately adopted by some European film makers as well, hence 3.7 stars.
Even though the film is far from being a masterpiece, technically it's a nicely made film with a very good performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw. However, the awful awful Sam Reid brings down the film's quality.
Refreshing to see a period piece told from the perspective of a biracial female protagonist. Thankful that things are changing in this very white, very patriarchal industry. For a black woman director to (earn) such a large scale period piece is progress for us all.