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Belle (2021). Belle: Directed by Mamoru Hosoda. With Kaho Nakamura, Ryô Narita, Shôta Sometani, Tina Tamashiro. Suzu is a shy high school student living in a rural village. For years, she has only been a shadow of herself. But when she enters "U", a massive virtual world, she escapes into her online persona as Belle, a globally-beloved singer.

“Letu0026#39;s get it right from the start. This movie does have faults – the plot does lose its relation to common sense some times (at least once, but in a very key moment) and it does sink a few times in to very shallow cliché such as the basic premise of the virtual world which makes this story move – translating our inner qualities into a singular personal avatar that really represent who we are. But once again I find myself watching a movie, realizing it has faults and feeling these faults donu0026#39;t matter one bit. I rated it 8 stars but it felt much more like 9. Because Mamoru Hosoda understands the human soul like very few do. Iu0026#39;ve seen already one of his earlier films – Mirai No Mirai where the very same deep understanding is demonstrated, I rated it 9 but I must admit this movie was much more moving than Mirai. Because the earlier movie is much more analytical and easy to relate to intellectually, while this one works on a pure emotional level. Iu0026#39;m rarely moved by an animated film like I was while watching it, because the characters were real – it has a lot to do with the superb Japanese voice acting, Iu0026#39;m not sure itu0026#39;ll work so well when dubbed but in Japanese it was raw and real and spoke of real issues of grief as a formative experience and about learning to stand for your beliefs against overwhelming odds and about how the smallest support from oneu0026#39;s friends can mean the world and work wonders.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOne more point that wasnu0026#39;t made by the previous reviewers – itu0026#39;s called Belle (in English) because itu0026#39;s using the French La Belle et la Bete as a major point of reference. Itu0026#39;s not Beauty and the Beast in a straight forward manner but the idea of Beautyu0026#39;s love as a releasing power is at the core of the movie. See it and youu0026#39;ll see what I mean, because I wonu0026#39;t be adding on that issue.”

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