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Film Reviews: Belle and Heaven Is For Real

I recently saw two movies that were not only great, they were both worth watching and inspiring films with an excellent cast each. The films were Belle (as Lady Mary Murray) and Heaven Is for Real (Kelly Reilly co-stars as Sonja Burpo). I highly recommend you see both films (if you haven't already) this Father's Day weekend as they're both still playing in theaters nationwide. I wrote and posted my film reviews these two films in my other movies blog here.

Read parts of my film reviews of both Belle and Heaven Is For Real below.

BELLE (2014)
starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Miranda Richardson, and 

Watch Belle trailer
BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral (Matthew Goode).  Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet the color of her skin prevents her from fully participating in the traditions of her social standing.  Left to wonder if she will ever find love, Belle falls for an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on change who, with her help, shapes Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in 18th century. Directed by Amma Asante (A WAY OF LIFE) and written by Misan Sagay (THE SECRET LAUGHTER OF WOMEN).
Belle was even more amazing than I expected. I love that it was based on a true story and was so moving and inspiring with intelligence and humor to keep you watching. Also, it reminded me a bit of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, in terms of the story and society the characters lived in and how already judgmental and prejudice people were back in that era. The main characters Dido Elizabeth Belle and Mr. John Davinier were also like Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy, but opposite in terms of rank and position. Dido Belle was more like Mr. Darcy, as she's wealthy and an heiress, whereas Mr. Davinier was more like Elizabeth Bennet, a poor vicar's son, but he was strong, opinionated, and intelligent man. Like Lizzie & Darcy, Dido & Davinier didn't get along well at the beginning, but ended up falling in love in the end (and of course, in real-life they got married and had 2 sons). They were real people though, unlike the famous literary fictional couple, Darcy & Elizabeth...

Read my full Film Review: Belle

Heaven Is For Real (2014)
starring Greg Kinner, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum

Watch the trailer for Heaven Is For Real
Heaven Is For Real
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. The film stars Academy Award (R) nominee and Emmy (R) award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event. 
One of the few main reasons I went to see this movie was Kelly Reilly. I'm a fan of hers and her versatile acting since I first saw her in Pride & Prejudice (2005) film as Caroline Bingley (even though her character in that film was one of my less favorite, but she was great in the role and had memorable one-liners that I was quite impressed by her acting) and saw her in other films she was in like The Spanish Apartment trilogy, Sherlock Holmes 1 & 2  films (with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law), and Eden Lake (with Michael Fassbender) to name a few. She was always good whether she's playing a good girl or bad girl kind of characters. Though she was often in small or supporting roles, but most of them were memorable and often she stole the spotlight in the films she appeared in, much more so than her co-stars with leading roles. I'm very glad she was cast in this movie as It was great to see her in a good supporting female lead role and she did not disappoint. Another reason was, it was not only a faith-based film, but it was also based on a true story that got me curious and more interested in seeing this film. And also, seeing the wonderful first trailer, got me even more interested and excited to seeing it...

Read my full Film Review: Heaven Is For Real



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