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Belle (2021)Belle (2021)

Belle (2021)

An imaginative vision of virtual reality grounded in intense real-world drama

Animation, Drama, Family, Music, Science Fiction

7.2

movie

France, Japan
English, Japanese
Discussion-sparking, Dramatic, Uplifting
2021
Mamoru Hosoda
Kaho Nakamura, Ken Ishiguro, Kenjiro Tsuda
122 min

Synopsis

rotten tomatoes
imdb
wikipedia
Suzu is a 17-year-old high-school student living in a rural town with her father. Wounded by the loss of her mother at a young age, Suzu one day discovers the massive online world "U" and dives into this alternate reality as her avatar, Belle. Before long, all of U's eyes are fixed on Belle, when, suddenly, a mysterious, dragon-like figure appears before her.

Our Take

7.2
The Staff

This Japanese animated film employs a gorgeous blend of CGI and traditional animation—as well as intricately orchestrated original songs—to present a plausible simulation of virtual reality where people are truly free to do anything. Belle might not be as careful with its characters and the difficult situations they’re put into “off-screen,” but this is still ultimately an optimistic movie. Director Mamoru Hosoda suggests that uniting ordinary people through the internet won’t actually lead to chaos. Instead, it’ll help each of us become more empathetic of people around the world. And while that means Belle is still a sci-fi fantasy story more than anything, the film’s wondrous images and music make it feel good to dream.

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