191) Belle (2013)
The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.
5/10 – Something different here compared to the usual films I watch. As an avid non-watcher of Downton Abbey, or any type of costume drama (despite being a History Graduate), I was intrigued by the plot of this film and gave it a go.
The bulk of this film isn’t anything special. A bunch of people prance about in silly outfits saying what a terribly good time they are having and how they would very much like to find someone to love. What was appealing about this film was that it was addressing race in this period, a factor that it all too easily glossed over. The result however was much less appealing. Race was mixed in with a love story which was fine, but it was told alongside another persons love story too, meanwhile there were several other severely under-developed subplots going on which meant that the actual addressing of this issue felt slightly diluted, not to mention so bombarded with violins and crying that it lost any type of emphatic statement it was trying to make.
It could have been really good, if they had just focused on the only interesting element and the excellent Gugu Mbatha-Raw, rather than unnecessarily pad it out with absolute drivel. Worth a watch if you can look past all that though. I couldn’t. I hoped for more.