Who’s in the mood for a couple of fascinating historical dramas, the kind that make you rethink your history lessons? Because Belle, releases to DVD today, and it’s the fact-based tale of a bi-racial girl raised by her aristocratic grandparents in 18th Century England. Well told and perfectly cast, with the always flawless Tom Wilkinson playing the family patriarch and a wondrous break out turn by Gugu Mbath-Raw in the lead, the film draws parallels you never knew existed between past and present.
If you’re looking for a little wilder, true ish (or at least rumored to be true) story that may cause you to rethink everything you know about British history and literature, have a gander at Anonymous. The usually unwatchably bombastic Roland Emmerich dials it back a bit – but not too much – to sketch a treacherous, traitorous, sordid story of the real William Shakespeare. Excellent performances and a savvy screenplay by John Orloff keep this one fresh and entertaining.