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Belle [Blu-ray] (2014)

Matthew Goode , Alan Mckenna  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Matthew Goode, Alan Mckenna
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (323 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KRGJ030
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,460 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Belle is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of Admiral John Lindsay and an enslaved African woman. As a child she was sent to live with her father’s uncle William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield, who raised her as a free young gentlewoman at Kenwood House. That same Lord Mansfield, in his capacity as Lord Chief Justice, was later called on to rule in the case of the Zong Massacre, a controversial court case that followed the deaths of approximately 142 enslaved Africans on board the slave ship Zong in 1781. The owners of the ship went on to make a claim to their insurers for the loss of the slaves, one that was refused on claims that the slaves (many of which were diseased) were deliberately murdered after being deemed worth more dead than alive.

This is the backdrop of Dido’s story, one that provides the film’s climax and is very much linked to her journey to find a place in the world. As such, there are two main (though interconnected) threads running throughout the film: that of Gugu Mabatha-Raw’s eponymous Dido Belle trying to find her place in the world, and the court proceedings surrounding Lord Mansfield’s ruling on the Zong trial.

Toward the end of the film the focus is just as much on Lord Mansfield’s moral crisis regarding the Zong Massacre as it is on Dido’s awareness of her quasi-privilege and growing sense of identity. But the greater part of the film remains with Dido, her love story with her uncle's student John Davinier, her relationship with her cousin Elizabeth, and her struggle to find a place in society.

Since the film was inspired by the 1779 portrait of Dido and Elizabeth, they are very much the focal point of the movie.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Directed by Amma Asante (A Way of Life) from a screenplay by Misan Sagay, Belle is a beautifully rendered historical romance, reminiscent of many Jane Austen romances of the period. The performances are first class, the cinematography and costumes are lush and detailed, the flow of the story well-paced and balanced between its romantic and historical elements, and the music adds wonderfully to the feel of the film. But that said, this is a film that should be considered more of an imaginative - and highly embellished - story than an accurate recounting of actual historical events.

The film begins with a young British naval officer, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode), in Jamaica, apparently meeting a very young girl for the first time: his mixed-race daughter by an African woman with whom he'd had an affair. In short order he tells the girl that he's taking her to "the life you were born to have", which we quickly learn means taking her to England to be raised by his uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson), high-ranking members of the British aristocracy who have no children of their own but who are already raising another grand-niece of similar age named Elizabeth. The Mansfield's take the girl - whose full name is Dido Elizabeth Belle - into their home, opting to call her Dido since they already have an Elizabeth, raising the two cousins almost as if they were sisters. Almost, but not quite, as becomes apparent in the film that having a mixed-race member of the family presented certain social difficulties in Georgian English aristocratic society.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History as it should have happened June 29, 2014
By Steve
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Even if some of the details are changed for the sake of the drama, and others made up for lack of information, this is how the story (based on real people and events) should have happened. Other reviewers have compared Belle to Jane Austen films, but it resembles them only in the flawless portrayal of social class and manners of the period. None of Austen's novels, however, hinge on greater events than the lives and affairs of the main characters; whereas Belle's life and identity are shown as closely bound to the fate of slavery and British attitudes to it.
All of the performances are excellent, with nobody over-acting or stealing scenes. The performance of the lead is especially moving. The costumes and sets are appropriately lush, and the cinematography unobtrusively draws you into the story. One very minor historical detail (since otherwise I'd have nothing to criticize): Belle's suitor, Ashford, tells her that his father has purchased a captain's commission in the navy for him. British navy commissions (unlike army commissions) were not sold. A British army officer could depend on soldiers being drilled in highly standardized procedures enforced by the noncoms. A British naval officer had to be competent in all the complex details of handling a sailing ship. So the only way to become one was to serve as a midshipman for years, then pass the very rigorous oral examination for lieutenant given by a panel of veteran naval captains.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No DVD? Call and complain! August 11, 2014
Format:Blu-ray
This was my favorite movie this year, but it's not being produced on a DVD! I called 20th Century Fox, and they told me they were only releasing it on Blu-ray for now. Since I have no desire to spend money on buying a blu-ray player, that means I'll have to buy a copy on a secondary market. I told them this would be a loss for them (I figured they would understand the meaning of money). If you are also unhappy that this is not available on DVD, please call 1-888-223-4369 and leave a complaint. Thanks!
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Will this be released on regular DVD not just blue ray?
Walmart has the regular widescreen dvd for pre-order (it's released tomorrow-- the 26th): walmart.com/ip/Belle-Walmart-Exclusive-Widescreen/36798128
Otherwise you can buy the digital SD version, and stream on your smart tv, internet ready dvd player, or streaming device.
23 days ago by A_Plain_Janeite |  See all 3 posts
Will it be available on DVD?
Walmart has the regular widescreen dvd for pre-order (it's released tomorrow-- the 26th): walmart.com/ip/Belle-Walmart-Exclusive-Widescreen/36798128
Otherwise you can buy the digital SD version, and stream on your smart tv, or internet ready dvd player or streaming device).
23 days ago by A_Plain_Janeite |  See all 2 posts
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