Saturday, December 29, 2012

First photos of Gugu Mbatha-Raw as 18th century 'Belle'

These are the first official photos from the film.  I'm looking forward to all the pretty costumes.

Set in the 1780s, Belle is the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay and an enslaved woman named Belle.  She spent most of her life at Kenwood House in Hampstead, England with the her great-uncle, The First Earl of Mansfield and his family.  Lord Mansfield was a judge, most famous for presiding over the James Somerset case, which was a case about the legality of slavery in England.  It's possible that Belle might have influenced his decision.

The movie focuses on slavery and the relationship between Dido Belle and John Davinier (Sam Reid).

“This is an important story which still has great resonance today," said producer Damian Jones.  "[Director Amma Asante] has created a powerful tale inspired by true historical events and adds a fresh and unique twist to this Jane Austen-esque romance.”

I don't think a release date has been announced, but it should probably be out sometime in 2013.

Below is a painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle with her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray.