So ok,Oscar fever is still here-there are some films that deserved a nod for 2014 and surprinsgly it is one of those anticipated films of that year after reading it from BFI.
Belle (2013)-Amma Asante
Dido Elizabeth Belle: I have been blessed with freedom twice over, as a negro and as a woman.
Before I jump to this review,my sis and I are talking my thoughts of it (She came in last minute after I finished it) interested in the painting
This is my talking point as I show screen caps of what I watched on how the blacks are painted. It leads me to one of my soft spot films-Amazing Grace (2007)
A few years ago,in discovery of my teen years-about William Wiberforce (played by Ioan Gruffudd,who is Henry Morgan in Forever)-the father of abolishment of slavery,and with William Pitt (Benedict Cumberbatch-now oscar nominee for The Imitation Game). What is interesting that it was told in a white man’s perspective,driven by religion (with mingling of John Netwon who wrote the beloved Amazing Grace). The only woman who is significant-Barbara Spooner (Romola Garai-Bel Rowly of the Hour) plays a small role in the film and pretty much the only stake is a White man’s world to save the society for a cause of godly conscience (No offence-I loved this film but that is not my case)
However let me talk about the subject Belle,a lady of great intelligence played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Whovians would recognise her as Martha’s sister in The Lazarus Experiment). I am extremely moved by her sheer determination,she is not painted broadly but as a layer persona like the painting. The part where she found about the horrors,is absolutely heartbreaking and should have been placed as one of the oscar nominees this year. That anguish,the playfulness and of course her sheer will is placed with closeups of the face-never feitshed.
The supporting actors like Tom Wilkison as Lord Mansfield (Hey a Grand Budapest cast member!) as the uncle,is moving and Sam Stein,as the idealist lawyer is proved wonderful with Gugu’s chemistry.
The cinematography-mannnnn it was incredible-it reminded me of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon and if you observed-lots of rack focus on her to show her silence and of course the use of shadows til the second half.
That is not my point,what strikes me is not the romance,but for her as an individual. The paintings which Dido saw all her entire life- portrayed Africans as helpless figures-looking to the whites as the oncoming messiahs (Hell she is freaking anxious when she heard about the paintings)
It is no longer the colonial gaze,she has to fight-it was her gender where women are not allowed to express their opinions of themselves. This is where it was untouched in my opinion in period films-A man can say whatever he wants but not her. That what makes it incredible,and hoping to see. Dido has her own wits,to appreciate culture in light of Handel and Purcell but also a mind to stand what is right. The script does justice to such an enigmatic figure-who gives about the slavery-it was a journey we go as an audience.
She is not like her namesake-Dido,left behind to cry over the lover at sea (there is a paraell of her real father leaving her). She withstand the flames of prejudice of society and her peers to be a better person. It may be saddening to hear that there are no living testaments of her legacy (I hear that she has an unmarked grave and all is lost til the 70’s) but this film shows the triumph of a woman in her times,where is repressive and if not unforgivable. To me,as a young asian woman-that is incredible.
BEE- *Yelling as I appear in the castle hallway* Scar I need you… *Running up the stairs to Yours and Gideon’s bedroom and walking in and stopping dead at the sight of Gideon asleep across the bed. Mutters* Hell…
SCAR- *Stomping back to the bedroom to change my shirt, noticing the trail of flour i’m leaving on the floor and snorting, it looks like that freaking Angel Zach has been here. Breaking out into a grin, my pace quickening, as I hear Bee call out, wondering what mischief she’s plotting, her voice coming dangerously close to our bedroom and it’s never a good idea to leave a harpy unattended in your room. A fact I know only too well. Reaching our room I am greeted by her ass backing straight into me.
BEE - *Backs out and slams into Scar* What the… Scar it’s only you… *Rubs eyes* I might have seen your man asleep but thank god he was covered I don’t think my eyes would recover from that sight….
SCAR - *Leaning against the door jamb with my arms crossed, my brows shoot up at her comments* Start talking…..fast
BEE- *Laughs* Come on Scar it’s so not like that…. Gid’s your man and he so doesn’t compare to Lysander *Flaps wings* It’s the wings… Anyway I need your help, I want to give Zacky the I’m so heartless angel a nightmare.. *Looks you up and down* Emmm why are you covered in flour?
SCAR - *Groaning at the reminder of the battle field I’ve left in the kitchen, my hand running through my hair, dislodging more of the white gunk* Weeeell …..Don’t you dare laugh!…*Lowering my voice and glancing around to make sure I can’t be overheard*….I was watching something on the TV and ….. and *Shaking my head, Gods I can’t believe I’m saying this* Gideon always seems to like it when the women here cook, so I thought I’d try and surprise him, you know do something nice for him…..anyway *my words now coming out fast* they say a man’s heart is through his stomach…or something like that, although personally I think stabbing in the chest is a much quicker way, but Gideon didn’t really appreciate it much when I stabbed him *knowing I’m rambling, but unable to stop myself* so I thought I’d try and cook for him…..*mumbling under my breath* turns out I’m better at the stabbing than I am at the cooking. *Falling silent as I look at Bee sheepishly*
BEE - *Laughs hard* Now this I got to see… So what are you baking? *Looks at the flour all over your shirt* Did you have to fight one of the gargoyle’s to get into the kitchen… *Bounces* Hey can I help…. I can bake Lysander a cake… *Remembers my last attempt and cringes* Maybe I shouldn’t… *Shakes* Any way are you going to help me bring Zach to his angel knees?.. *Looks hopefully at you*
SCAR - *grinning widely at the opportunity to bring the at times pompous angel to his knees* Sure *my grin turning sly* But you have to help me first
BEE-*Growls* Thats so not fair…. Why do I have to help you first. *Pouts* You owe me… *Taps chin* Just think of all the nice things I do for you and #Lies…
SCAR - *Staring blankly back at Bee remembering the bedroom makeover*
BEE - *Giggles at the look on your face* Fine fine all the nice things I do to keep me happy how about that! *Drops shoulders* But if you’re going to be like this I’ll help you bake! *Fingers crossed behind my back*
SCAR- *Looking at Bee suspiciously, she agreed far too easily* Bee.. Hands out front where I can see your fingers…then make the promise! *smirking to myself, thinking I’ve got her this time*
BEE -*Rolls my eyes* What you don’t trust me… *Puts out hands but crosses my ankles* See I will help like a good *Shakes* Little Harpy… *Growls* But you tell anyone and you die..So what are WE baking?
SCAR - *Glancing down at the crossed ankles and looking back up at Bee smirking* You know that doesn’t count, you help me and I’ll make that angel squeal like a stuck pig…just give me a second to change this shirt. *Kicking the door shut with my foot as i tug the shirt over my head, rolling it in a ball and firing it at the washing basket before pulling on another. Looking over at my sleeping warrior and mumbling under my breath* You better like it *slipping out of the door, closing it quietly behind me* OK let’s do this *Trying to hide my grimace under a smile I turn and head back the way I came towards the kitchen*
BEE-*Following you back down to the kitchen after you changed your top* Come on tell me what we are baking… *Walking into the kitchen and stopping dead* O… My… God… What did you do… *Looks at flour and eggs and butter and some sort of black sticky syrup which are all over the walls and presses and floor. Yells* I Love it… it reminds me of living with Kaia! *Jumping from one foot to the other as I cross over to the cooker* At least the cooker is clean *Howls with laughter*
SCAR- *Laughing despite myself* Yeah I didn’t manage to get any into the cooker…*pointing at the black sticky goo* That stuff has got to come straight from Hades himself *sighing* It was meant to be a Naughty Chocolate Fudge cake, the TV said it was easy..*my eyes watching a bit of egg yolk drip from the ceiling* The TV fucking lied!
BEE- *Holds my hands up in the air* Now calm down I’m just as bad when it comes to baking… *Blushes* Hell I even set fire to the cloud… *Looks at mess* But you have to admit its one hell of a mess..
SCAR - *Sniggers* How do you set fire to a cloud……never mind…I don’t think I want to know….*rubbing my hand over my eyes* I think I may have overbeaten the eggs….just a bit *holding finger and thumb slightly apart*……So do you think we can fix this *Flicking my hand towards the mess* Just don’t get too close to the stuff in the white bowl…I think it’s alive!
BEE - *Looking into the bowl* Hell what was that meant to be…. *Looking around and seeing the new dishwasher* Tell you what let’s just throw all this this is there and then we can use the sink spray hose to wash down the counters and start a fresh… *Picks up mixing bowl and pulls open dishwasher door and flings it in*
SCAR- *Reaching for the spray hose and turning the tap on full. Squeezing the trigger on the side, the water flies everywhere hitting Bee in the back and soaking her*
BEE- *Squeals as my back is drenched in cold water* Not me… The counters…. *Picking up the last of the dirty baking equipment and sliding over to the dishwasher trying not to fall on all the water and sticky syrup that is going down the drain under the centre island* OK that should do it now lets get down to baking.
SCAR- *Wiping the remains of the black sticky goo off the recipe* Ok first we have to line some sandwich tins…..*Looking up at Bee* Any ideas what a sandwich tin is and how the hell I line it?
BEE- *Laughs* Don’t tell me you expect me to know how to line sandwich tins… Hell I thought we were making Naughty Chocolate Fudge Cake… Not sandwiches and why do they need to be put in a lined tin?
SCAR- *Shrugs* It’s step one…*#Nightmares hums contentedly as fears of burning the kitchen down thrum through me. Eying the flour with suspicion I measure it out and add it to the other dry ingredients* OK that went where it was meant to this time *Checking the next step on the recipe* Semi Skimmed Milk?….What the fuck is semi skimmed milk? *Reaching into the fridge and pulling out the milk, measuring it out and setting it aside, picking up the eggs* These need to be beaten…..that I can do *grinning wickedly at Bee*
BEE- *Watching you measure out two lots of ingredients and grabbing the measured out milk and drinking it* So do I get to make one as well… And guess what you don’t leave the eggs in their shells…*Smiling* Haidee told me that…
SCAR- *Juggling the eggs in my hand as Bee downs the carefully measured out milk in a single gulp* Catch *Throwing the two eggs to her in quick succession* You figure out how to get those beaten *Grabbing the milk and measuring it out for a second time*
BEE- *Catching the eggs* Ok I’ll beat the eggs! *winks* I’m good at beating…. *Drops eggs into a bowl and watching as the eggs break open. Using my fingers to pick out most of the egg shells and then getting a whisk and beating the eggs fast spilling some of the eggs onto the counter while I look at the recipe pictures* Scar I know where these are! *Points to sandwich tins in the picture. Hands you the beaten eggs and goes and gets two different sized cake tins* And there is paper in them! So does that mean there lined *laughs as I look at the tissue paper that is in each tin as they are brand new. Puts them in front of you* Ok Next?
SCAR- *Dipping my finger into the eggs to pull out a few more shells before adding the milk and oil* Should I be concerned that you know your way around this kitchen so well?…..Ok it says we have to mix it with an electric whizz…any idea where that is?
BEE-*Bounces* Haidee uses this to make her cookies. *Points to mixer on counter and goes and leans against oven* Hey this should be hot I remember from when I set fire…. *coughs* Never mind! *Turns on oven to top heat*
SACR- *Cocking eyebrow* Let’s try not to set fire to the castle *Placing the mixture into the mixing bowl and looking for the on button*
BEE-*Pushing you away so I can use the mixer* See I can do this… *Looks into the mixing bowl as all the ingredients go round and round* Well it looks the same colour as the picture! *laughs*
SCAR- *Cracks up laughing* It does…and the bonus is this time it’s in the bowl, not the walls *eyes the egg splatters on the bench* Well most of it. *Picking up the tissue paper out of the pans and letting it float back down* I don’t think we line them with tissue paper, it’s flammable, my kitchen knowledge does extend that far. How did you cause the fire again?….Scratch that, I am sure I don’t want to know *Replacing with tissue paper with some baking paper I found in the draw, splitting the mixture in two and pouring it in, glancing at the picture again* OK so far so good *Sliding the two tins into the oven* Now what?
BEE- I’ll tell you what I’ll sit in front of the oven and watch to make sure it looks the same as the picture! *Takes cook book and sits crossed legged on the floor in front of the glass fronted oven*
SCAR- *Grabbing a couple of bottles of beer from the fridge, popping the tops and settling down beside the harpy, placing the beer in front of me and resting my chin on my knees. Pointing to one of the beers* That’s mine….*Pointing to the cooking cake and winking, covering my ass if it is in fact edible* That’s yours *As small bubbles start to form on the cake I wonder if I should have gone with the other option suggested on the TV for spoiling your man*
BEE- *Drinking beer as I hear you say the cake is MINE. Coughs beer all over the oven door* Mean #Nightmares so mean… And here I was going to help you clean up! *Looks around at all the dirty bowls and spoons and jugs* But now… all YOURS… *Squeals* Hell it’s rising just like the book said it would….. And turning a golden brown… *Laughs* Who knew books told the truth… *winks at you* I so want to get my hands on that book William wants back off Anya… I would love to know what is in it…
SCAR- *Outwardly groaning at the mess, but inside grinning like a cheshire cat, who would have thought ……. me….Rhea’s bastard daughter could actually create something! Turning to Bee and grinning, taking another swallow of my beer* You doubted my skills harpy? *Turning thoughtful for a minute* Anya sure has something over William with that book….does make you curious to know what’s inside it. *Hearing the timer ding and standing grabbing some oven mitts and sliding the two cakes from the oven, resting them on the cooling rack*
BEE- *Watching you take out the two cake tins. Licking my lips* Scar YOUR cakes look so tasty… *Sniffs* And smell so good… Do you have to give them to Gid?
SCAR- *Shaking my head as I inhale the sweet smell, still buzzing over the thought of Gid’s face* Yes, they are Gideon’s, keep your hands off!
BEE- *Growls* Fine be the perfect wifey and give Gid both cakes… *Sticks out tongue* But I’m going to tell on you so it won’t be a surprise! *Yells* O Gid….. *Goes to run from the kitchen*
SCAR- *Darting around the other side of the bench to head the harpy off, the wicked grin spreading over her face telling me I fucked up somewhere. Replaying my words in my head as Bee snatches up one of the cakes realising too late that I’d renamed the cakes as Gideon’s, giving the equivalent of a harpy written invitation*
BEE- *Grins as I eat Gideon’s cake straight from cake tin* Damn Scar it is so good you make a great cake…*Taking another drink from your bottle of beer as I walk into the new entertainment room* I’d give it to Gid before it gets cold!
SCAR- *Chucking the oven mitt at the back of the retreating harpy and surveying the mess that needs to be cleaned up before I can surprise Gideon, where is Aeron when I need him!. Least one thing is certain #NightmaresCanCook
*Wandering around the Realm of Blood and Shadows, I can’t help but panic a little at my predicament. How did I get here? I know that @Sienna_Lords took me away from@Galen_Lords, but, how? I no longer feel the bond with him. It feels as if a great weight has been lifted, yet somehow, I feel empty. Like I was in fact SUPPOSED to be with @Galen_Lords*
*Oh none of this makes sense!*
*I’m trapped in a realm that I know nothing about, just like it was in Budapest. But, at least, @Aeron_Lords and
@Olivia_Lords were there. Walking along the hallway, stopping at one of the windows, I gaze out onto the realm that I am now to call my home. Whispering, mostly to myself, yet praying that someone will hear me.* "@Aeron_Lords, where are you? Please come home.“ *Dipping my head, gazing at my hands as I fidget with them.* "I need you. I need help, @Aeron_Lords. Maybe even @Olivia_Lords can help me." *Looking out the window one last time, I peel my gaze away and head back to the room designated to me. It’s barren. My collection of Tiaras are still back in Budapest, the walls were white, as were the blankets. The carpet was a grungy tan color, and was in dire need of replacing. I shuffle my feet over to my bed and collapse. I reach up and grab my pillow, cradling it to my face, and feel tears silently stream down. I feel so lost and helpless. I feel completely different from when I was my former self. This body of mine has brought me nothing but trouble. I would do anything to go back to what I once was.Before @Aeron_Lords, before #Lucifer and my careless deal. And before @Galen_Lords*