Belle (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Belle2014

Belle (2014)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: It boasts all the surface beauty that fans of period pictures have come to expect, but Belle also benefits from its stirring performances and subtle social consciousness.

Belle Photos

Movie Info

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, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England. (c) Fox Searchlight

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Cast

Gugu Mbatha-Raw
as Dido Elizabeth Belle
Tom Wilkinson
as Lord Mansfield
Emily Watson
as Lady Mansfield
Matthew Goode
as Admiral Sir John Lindsay
Sarah Gadon
as Elizabeth Murray
Penelope Wilton
as Lady Mary Murray
Miranda Richardson
as Lady Ashford
Sam Reid
as John Davinier
Tom Felton
as James Ashford
James Norton
as Oliver Ashford
Timothy Walker
as Wimbridge
Natasha Williams
as Poor Woman
Charlotte Roach
as Maid, Kenwood House
Rupert Wickhan
as Reverend Davinier
Rupert Wickhan
as Reverend Davinier
Alana Ramsey
as Maid, Ashford House
Alex Jennings
as Lord Ashford
Daniel Wilde
as Gentleman 1
Susan Brown
as Baroness Vernon
James Northcote
as Mr. Vaughan
Andrew Woodall
as Lord Mayor
Edmund Short
as Law Student
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News & Interviews for Belle

Critic Reviews for Belle

All Critics (153) | Top Critics (60)

In a star-making performance, Mbatha-Raw breathes life into what could've easily been a woman of color stand-in for a Jane Austen character.

January 20, 2021 | Full Review…

The teenage Dido Elizabeth Belle is impressively played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw with a tender sensibility and a growing awareness.

September 23, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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.

June 15, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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.

June 13, 2014 | Full Review…

Asante's own work of art is lamentably cautious but does, ultimately, throw up things we haven't seen before. It's pretty, in other words, but not entirely vacant.

June 13, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

With Belle, Asante has succeeded in making a sweeping costume drama that confronts questions of race and gender head on -- something that Merchant Ivory films rarely managed to do.

June 12, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Belle

½

Solid performances of a pretty remarkable story.

Julie B
Julie B

Super Reviewer

A handsome period drama about an admirable young woman who manages to maintain her dignity in a society ruled by certain laws that, as one character puts it, were in fact frameworks for crime - and the gracious script avoids clichés and proves to be surprisingly moving.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

An very good historical film tackling slavery, race and the class system in Enlightenment Era Britain. Excellent costumes and locations with a typically outstanding performance by Tom Wilkinson. Gugu Mbatha-Raw portrays strength and incredible vulnerability in a very effective way. Good performances all around -- well, except for Draco Malfoy who bumbles through the plot line like a Slytherin trapped in his Harry Potter school days. Despite Felton and the not-quite-ready-for-prime-time sound editor, the film is really, really worth seeing.

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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