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The Secret Life of Bees

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Pro reviews
Original title
The Secret Life of Bees
Running time
110 min.
United States United States
Gina Prince-Bythewood. Novel: Sue Monk Kidd
Mark Isham
Rogier Stoffers
Fox Searchlight
Drama | Racism. Family Relationships. 1960s
South Carolina, year 1964. Lily Owens is a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping, honey and the Black Madonna.
2008: Nominated for Critics' Choice Awards: Best Young Actor/Actress (Fanning)
Critics' reviews
  • "Above all, it contains characters I care for, played by actors I admire. (...) Rating: ★★★½ (out of four)"
  • "The film insists so strenuously on its themes of redemption, tolerance, love and healing that it winds up defeating itself"
  • "Thanks to Gina Prince-Blythewood's treacly screenplay and plodding direction, the movie quickly congeals into a mess of sentimental cliches."
  • "Jennifer Hudson adds some grit to a project that might have worked better as a Hallmark TV special."
  • "There's a purity, clarity and honesty to this feminist heart-warmer's melodramatic instincts that make it surprisingly moving and satisfying."
  • "The source material remains affecting and the cast work hard to add dimension to a lacklustre screenplay. But sadly, it adds up to less than the sum of its parts."
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