Friday, February 13, 2015

The Lilith et Adalia Cinema Presents: Belle (2014 Film)

Today we bring you the first installment in our new blog series "The Lilith et Adalia Cinema"! This is a series where we review and discuss our favorite movies that fit in with our brand image and aesthetics. This is a part of what we define as the Lilith et Adalia lifestyle.

The movie is based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, born to naval officer Sir John Lindsay and an African Slave mother with the rumored given name Maria. In a strange turn of events in her mother's death, her father opted to bring Dido back to England to be raised in the household of her great uncle, William Murray, Earl of Mansfield. Throughout the movie, Belle is on the receiving end of relentless adversity due to the color of her skin and the circumstance of her existence.

This is a spoiler free zone! Lets begin by touching upon the things we believe makes this movie truly one not to forget. 

First and foremost, how could we as garment connoisseurs not be completely in awe at the amazing level of costuming in this film! The dresses featured in the film are absolutely impeccable; 18th century costuming at its very best. It's the little touches, like the ruffle details, the tucks, the pleating, the embroideries, that really catch our eye. During the movie while watching, it's easy to become distracted by the beauty of the costumes. 

Those colors! Very fond of Belle's stomacher design here.

We also love the interiors. The settings the film takes place in such regal and fanciful environments and really makes you feel as though you are submerged fully into that world of the British Aristocracy. 

But beyond the beautiful clothing and the regality, the overall message of the film could not resonate with us more. It's a social commentary detailing the difficulties of a woman born into circumstances she had no control over. A woman placed in a position where she would have to chose between one identity and another, one identity that she could never truly belong at the time because of the color of her skin - an esteemed heiress. Because even though she was half white and held the blood of an aristocrat, her overt blackness is something that was never ignored and caused her certain difficulty.

This is certainly a movie that we would watch again and again for every reason we stated above. But how do things turn out in the end for the young Belle? Be sure to watch the movie and find out! And certainly research a bit for yourself about her life outside of what was shown in the movie. It's surely worth your while.

The original portrait that inspired the film.
Dido Elisabeth Belle with her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray

Thank you for reading! What other period films do you like? Leave us a comment and we will be sure to check it out if we haven't already seen it.

- Lilith et Adalia