Release date: 13 June 2014 (United Kingdom)
Director: Amma Asante
Screenplay: Misan Sagay
Music composed by: Rachel Portman
Awards: The British Independent Film Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film
BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Captain. 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 England.
As I’ve said, I’m currently slap bang in the middle of my exams and sadly I haven’t had all that much time for reading. But, as I love reading so much, I make sure to read some pages when I wake up and before I go to sleep, so I’ve managed to complete a couple of books this month.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
So, I tried to read this book a while ago and couldn’t get past the first three pages. I started panicking that all the hype surrounding this book had killed it for me but I calmed myself, put it down and then, a while later, I picked it up again. And there was obviously something wrong with my mindset at the time because reading it now, I absolutely loved every single aspect about it! I adore all the characters and the humour and the complex plot and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Leigh Bardugo has obviously improved so much as a writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next!
Cat’s Cradle by Julia Golding
I’ve finally finished my task in re-reading this series that I was absolutely enamored with when I was a few years younger. This definitely isn’t my favourite book in the series, mainly because it is away from the thriving and amazing city of London, but I still enjoyed the writing and the characters and seeing how far they’ve developed since the beginning of the series. I’m sad that it’s over!
Doing It by Hannah Witton
I’m currently right in the middle of the exam season which means that TV programs aren’t exactly the first on my agenda but I have been trying to watch a couple of things here and there.
The Graham Norton Show
I’ve obviously been making time for my favourite chat show because not only does it perk me up, it yanks me back to the real world and some pop culture!
This show had some really poignant episodes this month that were slightly different to its usual format – they had a much stronger message behind them, particularly the episode ‘Moo Moo’ which dealt with police brutality and the idea of being a black man in America. This episode was so moving and important and was handled really well in my opinion; I love this show all the more now!
Back again for some more great quotes!
1) Amy: This one says Die Pig. And worst of all, they didn’t put the comma between die and pig. (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
2) Peter Quill: You look like Mary Poppins.
Yondu: Is he cool?
Peter Quill: Hell yeah, he’s cool.
Yondu: I’m Mary Poppins, y’all!
(Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
3) Prince: [dancing with her] What? What is it?
Belle: [smiles] How’d you feel about growing a beard?
(Beauty and the Beast)
Today was my first day of exams so from now until mid-June I’m basically snowed under with revision. That said, I’ve still been finding time to discover a couple of new favourites this month and particularly my film favourite, I am completely obsessed with! That said, this list definitely isn’t up to my usual standards and I’m sorry!
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (2017)
Director: James Gunn
Obviously, if anyone knows me, I am going to be obsessed with the newest Marvel release. I know that the majority of people love this film, though some people are sitting on the fence, and I am firmly in the camp of absolute adoration. This film was quite different in tone from the first one and was definitely more emotional and moving but was still full of brilliant songs, amazing characters and the humour that all Marvel films are jam-packed with. This film was so engaging and enjoyable and I encourage everybody to go and see it!
Six of Crows (2015)
Author: Leigh Bardugo
I can’t believe that the first time I picked this book up I couldn’t even get through the first five pages because now I am fully obsessed with this book. I love all of the characters because they’re so complex and engaging and are characters that I’ve never read about before. This world is so vivid and dark and gritty that I just want to discover more about it and the plot was perfect – who doesn’t love a good heist novel? I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Grease Live Soundtrack (2016)
After becoming absolutely obsessed with the Hairspray Live soundtrack, I figured I should give Grease Live a shot as well. Now, Grease isn’t actually one of my favourite musicals (with is a very unpopular opinion) but I’m pleased to say that I absolutely adored it. Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens and Jordan Fisher are incredible in this and I have been listening to every single song on repeat.
I first gave this book a shot what must be almost a year ago and I couldn’t even get past the first few pages. Terrified that all the hype surrounding the book had ruined it for me, I put it down and didn’t touch it for a while. I recently gave it another try and I honestly have absolutely no idea what was wrong with me. I absolutely adored this book this time around and now I can fully understand why there was so much hype surrounding this book when it came out. It’s worlds away from the Shadow and Bone series and it’s amazing how much she’s improved as an author in just a few years, which alone makes me excited about her future books. I absolutely adored the characters in this book as they are all so unique and not characters that I’ve ever read about before. Their dynamic is fantastic and the way they joke around and yet still care deeply about each other is something I loved reading about. I loved the plot because who doesn’t live a heist and all the political commentary that was hiding under the surface. I thought that this book was absolutely amazing and now I need the sequel because this ended on the biggest cliffhanger ever!
Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached). Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world). Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it). Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.
First, let’s talk characters because the characters in this book are amazing. I have a new all-time favourite character in the form of Nina Zenik. She is exactly what I adore in a character: she’s confident and sassy and intelligent and vivacious and I absolutely love her to pieces. I also love Inej because I could really relate to her on a lot of grounds – particularly her relationship and her thoughts on religion which is something that I’ve never been able to see in a character before. All of the characters are so complex and interesting and all have their unique pasts and flaws and quirks which I’m really looking forward to exploring more of in the next book. For the majority of the book, our 6 main characters are stuck with each other and their joking, sarcastic conversations made me so happy because I love witty conversations between witty characters.
Who doesn’t love a heist novel? And this book is pretty much entirely a heist novel. Obviously, there is a lot more to the plot but the basis is that our fabulous main characters have to pull off a heist. It’s fast and action-packed with twists and turns around every corner and because the story switches between each characters perspective you never really get the full story meaning there are lots of gaps and unanswered questions and as you don’t fully trust any of the characters, it makes everything a lot more interesting. I understand that the switching POVs could be hassle for some people but I thought they really added another layer to the story and made everything more interesting. The world is also wonderfully complex and layered and so vivid and I love it!
This book was engaging and heartbreaking and moving and it’s definitely a 5 star read for me. Now I need to read the next book!