Click here!

Belle (12A)


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

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

Asante has only made two films, and here’s hoping that she goes on to get better and better. Belle isn’t awful, but it is awfully slow, didactic and far too reliant on Mbatha-Raw’s fine, expressive eyes.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 08/06/2014

Witty and well-heeled, it also boasts a fine cast of British character actors at the top of their game.

****(*)Allan Hunter, The List, 03/06/2014

If not a star-making turn, Mbatha-Raw's tough, tender performances should give her plenty of opportunities in sharper fare.

***(*)(*)Angie Errigo, Empire Online, 09/06/2014

As Belle, Gugu Mbatha-Raw gives a luminous performance, aided by a script that creates a powerful tension between the formality of the language and the passion of the sentiments.

****(*)Philip Kemp, Total Film, 09/06/2014

A supremely confident work from one of Britain’s most promising directors.

****(*)Ashley Clark, Little White Lies, 12/06/2014

A spirited, good-natured and crowd-pleasing costume drama.

***(*)(*)Laurence Phelan, The Independent, 12/06/2014

It's a very solid, watchable if conservative piece of work.

***(*)(*)Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 12/06/2014

With Belle, Asante has succeeded in making a sweeping costume drama that confronts questions of race and gender head on – something that Merchant Ivory films rarely managed to do.

***(*)(*)Geoffrey MacNab, The Independent, 12/06/2014

That rare period drama with the ability to reach out across the centuries and capture the imagination of a modern audience.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 13/06/2014

Belle confirms Asante as an assured and insightful film-maker who knows just how much window dressing a picture requires to make it appealing to the eye. Embracing sentiment without going soft on substance, she hides her stronger purpose beneath a facade of gentility in a manner that would make Jane Austen smile. Bravo!

****(*)Mark Kermode, The Observer, 15/06/2014

Features about Belle (12A)

Gugu Mbatha-Raw on her role in period drama Belle

Claire Black, The Scotsman, 07/06/2014

Belle director Amma Asante: 'A generation growing up will never see colour as an issue'

Henry Fitzherbert, Daily Express, 15/06/2014

Where and when?

General release. Check local listings for show times.

Comments: 0 (Add)

To post a comment, you need to sign in or register. Forgotten password? Click here.

Find a show

Search the site

Find us on …

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YouTube

Click here!