Friday, July 25, 2014
This might sound a bit weird, but the two movies that were going through my mind as I watched this were Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and the 197-hour long version of Pride & Prejudice -- you know, the TV mini-series from the 90's that ever girl loves? I say Lincoln because that movie is a historical drama about the abolition of slavery in the United States and this movie is a historical drama about the abolition of slavery in England. I say Pride & Prejudice because both movies are period-piece romance dramas, Pride & Prejudice being the 19th century with Belle being late 18th century. As far as that aspect goes, all the romantic drama actually really interested me. The fact that it wasn't the main point of the movie probably helped as well as the fact that it was rather short compared to Pride & Prejudice. We had Dido and her cousin Elizabeth living at the Mansfield home with the males in the movie being the Ashford brothers, Oliver and James, as well John Divinier. Out of the five of these actors, the only one I really recognized was Tom Felton, aka Malfoy, as James Ashford. As far as he goes, I found it amusing that once again he played the idiot. I'm sure Felton is a great guy in real life that has the ability of playing a nice character, but he sure is good at being an idiot and I have a hard time envisioning him as anything else. Back on track, all five of these actors did a great job at their respective roles in really selling all the romantic drama in the movie.
In the end, Belle is a movie that for whatever reason (advertising/distribution?) got overlooked by general audiences as it only made it into 525 theaters and earned just over $10 million in the box office. However, it deserves a lot more attention than it actually got, so my recommendation is that you find a way to watch this and give it a shot. It is a great period-piece romance/historical drama that is a well-written, well-acted movie that taught me a lesson in history that I didn't know about previously. I was very glad that I searched it out. My grade for Belle is an 8/10.