British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw shines as the black aristocrat raised in the 18th century England drama.
Fox Searchlight has unveiled the official trailer for the forthcoming period drama "Belle", which premiered at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. Directed by British filmmaker Amma Asante, it stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the lead character Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Royal Navy admiral Sir John Lindsay, played by Matthew Goode.
Despite being afforded certain privileges because of her lineage, Belle realizes the harsh realities of being a bi-racial woman living in 18th century England after being raised by her aristocrat great-uncle Lord Mansfield as portrayed by Tom Wilkinson and his wife, played by Emily Watson. This is made evident even in finding romantic love, wherein she sees her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) chasing after suitors for marriage while she is left wondering if she can ever hope to have the same.
As fate would have it, Belle meets an idealistic young vicar's son and together, they help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice who will end slavery in England and change society for the better. Justin Chang of Variety says, "The pleasures of Jane Austen and the horrors of the British slave trade make a surprisingly elegant fit in Amma Asante's handsome period piece."
Set for a May 2014 release date, the movie also stars Sam Reid, Tom Felton, and Miranda Richardson. Misan Sagay pens the script while Damian Jones produces.