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Belle (12A)

10 February

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Key

  • A Autism friendly
  • C Captioned
  • D Dementia friendly

Details

From Mamoru Hosoda and Studio Chizu (creators of Mirai, Wolf Children and Summer Wars) comes Belle, the fantastical, heartfelt story of a socially awkward girl who becomes a megastar in a virtual world.

Shy high school student Suzu (voiced by Kaho Nakamura) lives in a rural village. Finding it difficult to cope with everyday life, she instead regularly escapes into ‘U’, a virtual world where she transforms into an unlikely alter ego: enchanting, globally-beloved singer Belle. Online, as Belle, she encounters a monstrous creature chased by vigilantes. As their hunt escalates, Suzu embarks on an epic, emotional quest to uncover the beast’s identity, as well as investigating her own.

A delirious, captivating and eye-popping vision, bursting with ideas, Belle explores how social media and technology have transformed our lives and our relationship with ourselves, including how they can help people process or divert pain.

A hit in Japan - where its story of female empowerment has resonated with audiences, in part by providing a counterpoint to anime’s sometimes problematically helpless and hyper-sexualised heroines - it received a 14-minute standing ovation following its premiere at Cannes Film Festival.


Why we love it:

Inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Mamoru Hosoda’s imaginative retelling of the tale as old as time is an audiovisual feast that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Set largely in the spectacular VR world of U, the emotional stakes are high and really hit home as we follow Suzu on her journey to reclaim her voice. While not your typical musical, music is very much the heart of Belle. The heartbreakingly beautiful soundtrack soars, and the songs will definitely stay with you long after the credits roll – they certainly have with me.’ - Frida Runnkvist, Glasgow Film Festival Marketing Coordinator


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  • Director Mamoru Hosoda
  • Cast Kaho Nakamura, Shōta Sometani, Takeru Satoh
  • Country Japan
  • Year of Production 2021
  • Language Japanese with English subtitles
  • Running Time 2h1m
  • Certificate 12A
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