I'd heard some good word-of-mouth about this so had high expectations. Unfortunately 'Belle' is a fairly traditional frocks and frills affair. While the story of Dido Belle may be interesting, Amma Asante takes a rather lifeless and televisual approach to direction. Sam Reid's performance as the romantic lead is plain dull and the film's continued over-use of string arrangements feels lazy and heavy-handed. I'm not typically a fan of costume dramas, so obviously I'm in the minority, but I still would have liked something with a little more substance, life and drama for a story like this.
It's easy to imagine that in a few years time the following conversation will happen in hundreds of homes:
"So did you just go to bed when you came in?"
"Actually no, I turned on the TV and ended up watching this crappy movie."
"What was it?"
"Oh, it was called Penthouse Robbery or Apartment Theft or something."
"I can't remember any of it, but yeah it was actually pretty ok!"
Tower Heist - adequately watchable
Beautiful and tragic; Never Let Me Go is the type of film which creeps up on you and leaves you devastated for hours afterwards. Romanek's take on Kazuo Ishiguro's novel is note perfect - capturing the writer's ability to never force the story, he bravely allows for the impact of the tale be told through the delicate and muted performances of his excellent cast.
Sobering yet essential viewing.