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Belle [Blu-ray] (2014)

Matthew Goode , Alan Mckenna  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (533 customer reviews)

List Price: $27.99
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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: 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 (533 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00KRGJ030
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,501 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 109 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 negotiating high society, 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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70 of 76 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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40 of 42 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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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am 100-percent in love with this movie June 30, 2014
By JE
Format:Blu-ray
I am 100-percent in love with this movie. I made a rare trip to the movies to see Belle twice, and I'm so excited the movie is coming to blu-ray. Belle's story was a beautiful mix of fact and fiction, elegantly brought to the big screen by the stunning lead actress and a host of talented actors and actresses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great
Published 1 hour ago by daveo
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see --- great for families!
Excellent movie and excellent viewing quality from Amazon.
Published 2 hours ago by keenun
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent movie.
Published 6 hours ago by Robert from Columbia, SC
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, historically accurate
Wonderful movie, historically accurate. Also appropriate for children to watch who are mature enough to deal with the subject of slavery.
Published 6 hours ago by Debra De La Motta
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the very best new movies that I have watched for a long...
This is one of the very best new movies that I have watched for a long time. I showed it for a Ladies Movie Night on our Home Theater in our backyard recently. Read more
Published 18 hours ago by Linda Lofton
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
VEry good, like the book!
Published 1 day ago by Jerry Boyarsky
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Watch Movie!
Love Love Love this movie. Very compelling. Love has no boundaries and no limits. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie.
Published 1 day ago by Cleopatra
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, well-acted and very moving
I've read some valid criticisms of Amma Asante's "Belle"; you know how it will end by 20 minutes in, at times it can feel stuffy and Masterpiece Theater-ish, it isn't as... Read more
Published 1 day ago by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story but with little action
Though the facts have been changed a bit to make them more dramatic (Belle's future husband wasn't a vicar's son but a French steward), this is a very engrossing story depicting a... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Toni V. Sweeney
5.0 out of 5 stars A movie that shows unconditional love, respect
This movie was very entertaining. It covered a wide range of emotions and view points. A movie that shows unconditional love, respect, and value of positive relationship and... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Dorothea
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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.
Aug 25, 2014 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).
Aug 25, 2014 by A_Plain_Janeite |  See all 2 posts
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