Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mabatha-Raw) is the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral. Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage allows her certain privileges, yet the colour of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing. Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.
Belle is inspired by a famous 1779 painting of Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, Even though much is not known of Belle’s story, this film can only be seen as pure fiction but the screenwriter has used to her advantage in order to tell the story of how the end of slavery was achieved in England. The film has all the eloquence you would expect from a period drama and some outstanding performances from a very British cast.
See if you liked: The Butler, 12 Years A Slave.
In 1993, 3 Eight year old boys went missing from their West Memphis neighbourhood only to be found brutally murdered. The community and the local police force are convinced the deaths are due to a nasty satanic ritual due to the violent and sexual nature of the crime. With this in mind the police rush in and focus on a trio of teenagers suspected of devil worship, but something doesn’t add up.
Here we have another film based on a true story, a drama/thriller full of intrigue and horror and a pretty impressive cast in the form of Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. While the acting may be faultless and the gracious intentions of the director to tell the story with heart and passion, it just falls short of giving us something new. There has been many documentaries around this story and if you’re fully aware of these then it brings out nothing you don’t already know. I have a feeling though if you’re from the UK you may just be enticed.
See if you liked: Prisoners, The Killer Inside Me
Ten years ago, Tim Russell was convicted of the murder of his parents. Now in his 20s and released from prison, sister Kaylie is convinced that their deaths were caused by something else altogether.
Oculus is a psychological horror film brought us from the producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious. So you can already get an idea of what to expect. Set over two time periods, One of before the horrific events of Tim’s life and what lead up to the killings, and one of the after, once he is released from the psychiatric hospital. I can hear all your horror fans’ calling out now, is this film deserving of the title “horror”? I’m happy to give it a resounding thumb up. It’s pretty smart and boy does it give you that spine tingling, scary moment throughout and what’s even better, the ending when you’re in for a complete shocker.
See if you liked: Absentia, House at the End of the Street.
MY PICK OF THE WEEK: Mmmmmmm this is a hard one for me this week but I’m going to go for… just to mix it up a bit, OCULUS.