Tagged: Penelope Wilton

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Summary: An illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Amma Asante

Screenwriter: Misan Sagay

Cast: Susan Brown (Baroness Vernon), Tony Eccles (Mr. Francis), Tom Felton (James Ashford), Sarah Gadon (Elizabeth Murray), Matthew Goode (Captain Sir John Lindsay), David Grant (Zoffany), Cara Jenkins (Young Elizabeth), Alex Jennings (Lord Ashford), Lauren Julien-Box (Young Dido), Bethan Mary-James (Mabel), Alfred Mather (Mr. Francis), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Dido Elizabeth Belle), Alan McKenna (Harry), James Northcote ((Mr. Vaughn), James Norton (Oliver Ashford), Sam Reid (John Davinier), Miranda Richardson (Lady Ashford), Timothy Walker (Wimbrdige), Emily Watson (Lady Mansfield), Rupert Wickham (Reverend Davinier), Tom Wilkinson (Lord Mansfield), Penelope Wilton (Lady Mary Murray)

Runtime: 104 mins

Classification: PG

OUR BELLE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s Belle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Stars(3)

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s Belle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Stars(3)

David Griffiths:

Sometimes timing is everything when it comes to a film’s release. Twelve months ago people would have been saying that Belle was a much needed film looking at equal rights for all people, no matter their skin colour. But in a stroke of bad luck for Belle it comes out only a few months after the critically acclaimed 12 Years A Slave, a film that went further into the subject matter than any film before it.

Still Belle does deserve some credit, it tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Odd Thomas, TV’S Touch) a young girl who was parented by a black slave mother and her father, Navy Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode – Stoker, The Vatican). When her mother dies, her father who loves her dearly decides that it would be best for her if she was looked after by his wealthy Aunt, Lady Mansfield (Emily Watson – The Book Thief, Some Girl(s)) and Uncle, Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson – The Grand Budapest Hotel, Felony).

The plan doesn’t go completely to plan though. While Dido is loved by her adopted guardians and Lady Mary Murray (Penelope Wilton – The Girl, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) they find that no matter how hard they try society just won’t accept her the way that it accepts their own daughter, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon – Maps To The Stars, The Amazing Spider-Man 2). The divide becomes even more apparent when the two women enter the ‘dating circle.’ While the well-off James Ashford (Tom Felton – In Secret, From The Rough) pursues Elizabeth his brother Oliver (James Norton – Mr. Turner, Rush) goes against his wishes and tries to become a suitor for Belle. Their mother, Lady Ashford (Miranda Richardson – Muppets Most Wanted, TV’S World Without End) does not fully like the fact that her son may marry a ‘mixed race’ woman but certainly sees financial benefit from it.

Just to further cause problems for Dido she becomes ‘interested’ in John Davinier (Sam Reid – ’71, The Railway Man), an ambitious young law student who continuously butts heads with Lord Mansfield.

Belle is the kind of film that will slightly frustrate its audience. The story behind the film is a fascinating one and not one that most people would be familiar with and while director Amma Asante (A Way Of Life) does a good job bringing the story to the big screen there just seems to be something that stops this film from becoming a brilliant cinematic experience.

While Asante and those involved for set design and costume capture the time period that Belle is set in have made the film look as good as a classic like Pride & Prejudice the screenplay, which comes from the pen of Misan Sigay (Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Secret Laughter of Woman), sadly lets the film down a little. The script makes the film feel more like an episode of Downton Abbey rather than something people would want to pay $20 to see at the cinema.

There are a number of scenes in the film that needed to be more dramatic than they actually are. The confrontation between Dido and James Ashford needed to be a lot more suspenseful and threatening while a lot of the ‘dating circle’ scenes that feature Lady Mansfield and Lady Ashford almost seem like they were written for a soap opera rather than a big screen film. Even the scenes revolving around the whole court case never reach the dramatic peaks that they should have. Perhaps as a screenwriter Sigay should have taken another look at Lincoln to see how a good screenwriter can make scenes like that so suspenseful.

The acting in Belle is also let down by the screenplay. The talented skills of Penelope Wilton, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson are hardly even tested as they never seem to get out of cruise control throughout the film. The younger cast fair a little though. Sarah Gadon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Sam Reid all show that they have promising careers ahead of them while it is also good to see Tom Felton being able to show his talents outside of the Harry Potter franchise.

Belle is far a disappointment but discerning film goers are likely to want a little more out of their film. Still it is good to see such an important story making it onto the big screen.

Stars(2.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:  Belle (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Belle′: Please check our full Belle review that aired on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #78

Trailer:

SAG Awards

The 2013 SAG Awards nominations are now in. Here they are:

 

FEATURE FILMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
  • Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  • Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
  • James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osange County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
  • Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

  • 12 Years A Slave – Bendict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodward
  • American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham
  • August: Osange County – Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jnr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

 

TELEVISION PROGRAMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Matt Damon (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
  • Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
  • Al Pacino (Phil Spector)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Burton And Taylor)
  • Holly Hunter (Top Of The Lake)
  • Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series

  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
  • Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
  • Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
  • Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series

  • Claire Danes (Homeland)
  • Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
  • Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Kerrry Washington (Scandal)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire – Patricia Arquette, Margot Bignham, Steve Buscemi, Brian Geraghty, Stephen Graham, Erik La Ray Harvey, Jack Huston, Ron Livingstone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Gretchen Mol, Ben Rosenfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Ware, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright
  • Breaking Bad – Michael Bowen, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Lavell Crawford, Tait Fletcher, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, Matthew T. Metzler, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Kevin Rankin, Patrick Sane
  • Downton Abbey – Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leach, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Dan Stevens, Cara Theobold, Penelope Wilton
  • Game Of Thrones – Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Oona Chaplin, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mackenzie Crook, Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Fairley, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glenn, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Paul Kaye, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Ian McElhinney, Philip McGinley, Hannah Murray, Iwan Rehon, Sophie Turner, Carice Van Houten, Maisie Williams
  • Homeland – F. Murray Abraham, Sarita Choudhury, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morgan Saylor

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series

  • 30Rock – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tracey Morgan, Keith Powell
  • Arrested Development – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, John Beard, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia De Rossi, Isla Fisher, Tony Hale, Ron Howard, Liza Minnelli, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Henry Winkler
  • The Big Bang Theory – Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
  • Modern Family – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Aubrey Anderson Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
  • Veep – Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh

 

STUNT ENSEMBLE HONORS

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture

  • All Is Lost
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • The Wolverine

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Comedy or Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • The Walking Dead