She's the main character in this "based" on a true story. But the character Belle is called Dido. So why call the movie Belle? Probably because it sounds more appealing than Dido.
Set in the slave days of England, the movie has Dido as an African who was born to British royalty. In the movie, she is a central part of the first judicial decision in the world involving slavery and one that helped end the practice in England.
Her real life story is quite a bit different, but it's not movie material, so director Amma Asante and writer Misan Sagay make up things. And they do a pretty good job with the fiction. It doesn't hurt to get acting help from newcomer Guga Mbatha-Raw, who plays Dido, and Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson -- playing the Lord and Lady who take her into their home and family -- and Miranda Richardson.
This is one of the year's art house bests.
Never miss a local story.
Director: Amma Assante
Stars: Guga Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Matthew Goode, Miranda Richardson
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated PG for mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.
-- Mr. Movie also rides bicycles. Check him out at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.