True story period drama, set in 18th-century Britain, about Dido Elizabeth Belle (rising star Gugu Mbatha-Raw) - the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a Navy Admiral. As the years go on, Dido's social status wavers when her public image provokes tension among her peers... Co-stars two-time Oscar nominees Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson.
"Fans of English period drama are accustomed to its gorgeous settings, social graces, and sophisticated language. But what's often missing from those adaptations of Jane Austen or the Brontës is the institution at the foundation of that refined life: slavery... In late eighteenth century England, Belle is born to a white British admiral and a black Caribbean slave. The admiral's well-bred family is appalled, but when he returns to sea, custom dictates that they raise his child as an aristocrat. Britain's imposing Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) is both Dido's uncle and the family patriarch, and instructs this biracial young woman to respect both the law and the social codes of her station. She is a lady, but an embarrassment." (Toronto International Film Festival)
DramaTrue Story & BiographyHistorical