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The Playlist

Review: 'Belle' Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw & Tom Wilkinson Is A Lovely Film for Jane Austen Fans

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • May 9, 2014 3:02 PM
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Belle
Adaptations of Jane Austen’s work and other Georgian-era-set films arrive via indie theaters and PBS almost as though they’re on a schedule. Fans of witty stories of class-defying romance get their fix of empire-waist dresses, demure courtships and misunderstandings every year or so, but there’s often little to differentiate one from another (not that we complain when a new adaptation appears). Based on a true story, director Amma Asante’s “Belle” has every element that costume drama fans love, but it elevates a standard love story by adding larger historical implications and giving us a new perspective on the era.

Review: 'Made in Dagenham' is Your Standard Pre-Oscar Crowd Pleaser

  • By Kimber Myers
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  • November 18, 2010 3:45 AM
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Unlike its bold heroines, "Made in Dagenham" doesn't break any new ground. But just because it's treading the familiar waters of "Norma Rae," "The Full Monty," and director Nigel Cole's own "Calendar Girls" and "Saving Grace," doesn't mean that it's not an enjoyable diversion, particularly if you're looking for something to watch with the middle-aged woman in your life. "Made in Dageham" is inspiring in that (wo)man-against-the-world sort of way, and its talent and historical basis are compelling enough that you don't have to feel guilty. Sally Hawkins (so great in "Happy-Go-Lucky" and, well, everything) is sympathetic but strong as Rita O'Grady, an amalgam of several women who led the strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham, England in the 1960s.

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