Arts & Entertainment

Belle

Belle, a naval officer’s illegitimate daughter from an African mother, is taken to live with her great-uncle, the benign – if crusty – Lord Mansfield, also the Lord Chief Justice (played by the wonderful Tom Wilkinson).

When Belle is a young woman he’s required to rule on a claim by slave traders that insurers must cover them for the loss of their ‘goods’ (human beings) – resulting in  the first steps toward abolition of slavery in England.

Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Miranda Richardson ensure quality acting and comely newcomer Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) will undoubtedly be seen again.

Will Belle’s love for young abolitionist lawyer (Sam Reid) triumph?

Though never reaching great dramatic heights, Belle engagingly tells an important story. (MMu)

***

BY MICHAEL MUIR

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