Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Belle adds depth to costume romance

The Vernon Film Society opens its fall 2014 season with Belle, a costume drama/romance based on a true story.

Movie fans do not have too long to wait now for the start of the Vernon Film Society’s fall season.

Running from Sept. 8 until December, with the usual film festival in November, all shows will once again screen at the Towne Cinema in downtown Vernon.

New programs are available at the Towne Cinema, Vernon Public Art Gallery and Vernon library.

The first movie is Belle, a costume drama/romance based on a true story.

Directed by Amma Assante, it tells the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). He leaves her to be raised by her great uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife.

Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble standing. Not able to dine with the family, but also not put below the stairs, she is left on the sidelines spending a great deal of time with her half cousin , Lady Elizabeth Murray (Sarah Gadon), who is more interested in finding a suitable beau.

Her great uncle is Lord Chief Justice of England and is involved in a number of important cases concerning slavery.

After Belle meets an idealistic vicar’s young son bent on changing society, they help shape Lord Mansfield’s role in ending slavery in England.

This lushly filmed movie, set at a time in England many are familiar with from stories of Jane Austen, will please all those who enjoy a costume romance, yet with many subtle overtones of a time of change in society.

As Movie Nation says: “Belle is as close to perfect as any costumed romance has a right to be.”

The film screens at the Vernon Towne Cinema Monday , Sept. 8 at 5:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. All seats are $7. Tickets are available one week ahead at the Bean Scene and the Towne.