Review #706 of 365
Movie Review of The Secret Life of Bees (2008) [PG-13] 110 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $13.75
Where Viewed: Muller Family Theatres Lakeville 21, Lakeville, MN
When Seen: 18 October 2008 @ 2:40 pm
DVD Release Date: Unscheduled (please check back)
After the Credits: there is nothing
Unsung Member of the Crew: Bee Keeper – Julian I. Wooten
Directed by: Gina Prince-Bythewood (Reflections)
Screenplay by: Gina Prince-Bythewood (Reflections) based on the novel, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Featured Cast (Where You Might Remember Him/Her From):
Dakota Fanning (Charlotte's Web) • Queen Latifah (What Happens in Vegas) • Jennifer Hudson (Sex and the City) • Alicia Keys (The Nanny Diaries) • Sophie Okonedo (Martian Child) • Paul Bettany (Iron Man) • Hilarie Burton ("One Tree Hill") • Tristan Wilds ("90210") • Nate Parker (The Great Debaters)
… pain, humor, tragedy, and celebration weaved into this remarkable story.
Over the next few days, there's plenty of discovery and self-discover for all involved. Read the spoiler if you care to learn more and make comparisons between the film and the novel. This is a powerful narrative when it comes to the state of race relations in the mid 1960s as the civil rights act was being put to the test, and it seems that little had actually changed much in this part of South Carolina. Lily becomes friends with a young Black boy named Zachary Taylor (Tristan Wilds), and their relationship becomes the source of much contention in the town leading to a harrowing series of circumstances. The obvious juxtapositioning of the strength and freedom of the Boatwright sisters with the racism in the town creates a powerful setting for the story. Yet, still, the main principles of the story deal with the power of women and the maternal instinct. Writer / director Gina Prince-Bythewood with her excellent cast has created a memorable film in the tradition of a southern gothic novel.
Certainly Sophie Okonedo will be receiving best supporting actress Oscar® buzz for her performance.
The Secret Life of Bees stands out as a wonderful little film with incredibly strong roles for and performances by the mostly female cast. It's only real weaknesses stem from a certain predictability that emerges due to fairly intense foreshadowing. On the whole, however, the film remains one of the bright stars of October 2008. Certainly Sophie Okonedo will be receiving best supporting actress Oscar® buzz for her performance.
Click for 'Review Lite' [a 150-word review of this film]
Other Projects Featuring The Secret Life of Bees (2008)
Dakota Fanning • Queen Latifah • Jennifer Hudson
Alicia Keys • Sophie Okonedo • Paul Bettany
Hilarie Burton • Tristan Wilds • Nate Parker