Excerpt: It isn’t often that a true story mixes race and class in a Jane Austenesque setting, but Belle manages to tell a fascinating, if somewhat dry, story lifted up by a career-making performance that hopefully will lead to greater roles for its star, Gugu Mbatha-Raw.
Excerpt: An eighteenth-century costume drama that lights up the screen with a beautiful mixed race heroine, an idealistic law student, and a circle of older English aristocrats whose most cherished traditions are challenged.
Excerpt: Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw’s gorgeous countenance is highlighted by her remarkably expressive eyes which convey all manner of emotion without words. Belle is captivating and presages the arrival of an exciting new talent.
Excerpt: Sagay and Assante do a powerful job of weaving together the intricacies of British law and custom among the aristocracy, where matters of race, gender, position, and wealth tangle like brambles in a garden, and it’s sometimes a revelation to see which prejudices and restrictions are strongest.