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The Playlist

The Movies That Changed My Life: Amma Asante, Director Of 'Belle'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 12, 2014 11:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Amma Asante, Belle
The quiet little indie sleeper of the summer has been “Belle,” the British costume drama ignored by most of the movie blog world, but which has proven to be a real word-of-mouth hit: at present, it’s taken more than $7 million, making it the third biggest indie of the year (behind “Chef” and ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel”), and is still going strong. The true-life tale of Dido Elizabeth Belle, born to a British aristocrat and a West Indian slave, and raised in high society, but never able to fully participate in it, it’s also terrific, as our review from a month or so back said.

Interview: 'Belle' Director Amma Asante On Her Charged & Groundbreaking Period Drama

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 1, 2014 2:01 PM
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  • 1 Comment
A good candidate for the unexpected sleeper indie crossover of the summer looks to be Fox Searchlight's "Belle," which hits theaters this week. The film tells the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, born in the West Indies in 1761 to an aristocrat, Admiral Sir John Lindsay, and an African slave. She was brought back to England and, as her father's sole heir, albeit an illegitimate one, was raised among great privilege, though not allowed to participate in all aspects of society (she had to dine separately from the rest of her family for instance).

Fox Searchlight Pick Up Amma Asante's Period Drama 'Belle' Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Tom Wilkinson

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 1, 2013 3:25 PM
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  • 1 Comment
"Belle"
Though it went mostly underseen in the U.S. , Amma Asante's 2004 film "A Way Of Life" was one of the best debut films by a British director in the last decade. A tough, powerful Wales-set drama with a brace of deeply moving performances, it won Asante the BAFTA Carl Foreman award for best debut by a British filmmaker as well as top prizes from the London and Miami Film Festivals, and marked the writer-director as a serious talent to watch.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Sarah Gadon & Sam Claflin Lead Promising Cast For Amma Asante's Period Drama 'Belle'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • May 16, 2012 9:39 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Quentin Tarantino and Steve McQueen dared to tackle race and slavery with their latest projects, "Django Unchained" and "Twelve Years A Slave," and it looks like they've now paved the way for other filmmakers to follow suit. One such example is British helmer Amma Asante who's set to adapt the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle -- a half-black illegitimate daughter of renowned Admiral Sir John Lindsay, eventually taken in and raised as an aristocratic lady in 18th Century England by Lindsay's uncle William Murray, the Earl of Mansfield.

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