During a time of shifts in public opinion and social values, it can be difficult to maintain the status quo, especially among those who are helping to drive those forces of change. So it was in 1914 England with Vera Brittain (Alicia Vikander), a headstrong, self-assured, independent thinker with aspirations far different from those of most women at the time. Rather than be relegated to a life of conventional marriage and homemaking, for example, Vera fought for the right to apply to Oxford to earn her college degree and become a writer, much to the consternation of her parents (Dominic West, Emily Watson). What’s more, despite the subtle matchmaking attempts of Vera’s brother, Edward (Taron Egerton), to fix her up with his friend Victor (Colin Morgan), the idealistic young nonconformist resisted these efforts, insisting that she preferred to live her life without a husband. Clearly, Vera was a force to be reckoned with.
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They say it takes two to tango. It’s a concept that we can apply literally, metaphorically and even metaphysically. But nowhere is this notion more applicable than in the expression of the grand cosmic dance, a principle explored on multiple levels in director James Marsh’s inspiring new biopic, “The Theory of Everything.”
Prevailing limitations can be severe impediments to invoking change and righting wrongs. The implications of this are apparent in an array of life’s venues, too, from those that are highly personal to those that affect the entire spectrum of society. But, when individuals of conviction come along to challenge existing limitations, the potential for dismantling those barriers soars. Such are the circumstances at work in the new fact-based historical drama, “Belle.”