MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 102 this week

Bee Season (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  23 November 2005 (USA)
5.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.5/10 from 5,809 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 73 user | 75 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A wife and mother begins a downward emotional spiral, as her husband avoids their collapsing marriage by immersing himself in his 11 year-old daughter's quest to become a spelling bee champion.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) (as Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 45 titles
created 13 Apr 2011
 
a list of 28 images
created 28 Oct 2011
 
a list of 43 titles
created 01 Apr 2012
 
a list of 489 titles
created 13 Nov 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 30 Jan 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Bee Season" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Bee Season (2005)

Bee Season (2005) on IMDb 5.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Bee Season.
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Disengagement (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A political drama centered around Israel's pullout from the occupied Gaza strip, in which a French woman of Israeli origin comes to the Gaza Strip to find her long ago abandoned daughter.

Director: Amos Gitai
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Liron Levo, Jeanne Moreau
The Flock (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.

Director: Wai-Keung Lau
Stars: Richard Gere, Claire Danes, KaDee Strickland
Drama | Thriller | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

September the 1st, 2001. Elliot, an American C.I.A. agent holding top secret information on the immediate future of the world, disappears. His sole aim was to meet his daughter Orlando, ... See full summary »

Director: Santiago Amigorena
Stars: Juliette Binoche, John Turturro, Sara Forestier
The Hoax (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In what would cause a fantastic media frenzy, Clifford Irving sells his bogus biography of Howard Hughes to a premiere publishing house in the early 1970s.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, David Aaron Baker
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

At the age of 20, Martin leaves his home town and comes to Paris, where he fortunately becomes a model by chance. He meets Alice, his brother's friend, and falls in love with her. They ... See full summary »

Director: André Téchiné
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Alexis Loret, Mathieu Amalric
Red Corner (1997)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An American attorney on business in China, ends up wrongfully on trial for murder and his only key to innocence is a female defense lawyer from the country.

Director: Jon Avnet
Stars: Richard Gere, Bai Ling, Bradley Whitford
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The only thing more outrageous than French novelist George Sand's torrid love affair with the decadent author Alfred de Musset and her affinity for wearing men's clothing, was the content ... See full summary »

Director: Diane Kurys
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Benoît Magimel, Stefano Dionisi
Jet Lag (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A worn-out businessman and a beautician on the run collide in a Paris airport. Love arrives, all its hurdles be damned.

Director: Danièle Thompson
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Jean Reno, Sergi López
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young journalist, a seasoned cameraman and a discredited war correspondent embark on an unauthorized mission to find the No.1 war criminal in Bosnia. However, their extremely dangerous target decides to come after them.

Director: Richard Shepard
Stars: Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Jesse Eisenberg
Mary I (2005)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The Virgin Mary delivers a message to an 11-year-old girl.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Forest Whitaker, Matthew Modine
Roundabout (1989)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Al and Elsa have been a couple for some time, but the chances that their relationship will be long-lived are few. For one thing, Al is appallingly dependent on Elsa for his every emotional ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Pradinas
Stars: Juliette Binoche, François Cluzet, Thierry Gimenez
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young woman falls in love, then wakes up a decade later as the mother of a young boy who is also in the middle of a divorce.

Director: Sylvie Testud
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Mathieu Kassovitz, Aure Atika
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Chali
...
Sam Zuckerman ...
National Spelling Bee Judge
Joan Mankin ...
Ms. Bergermeyer
Piers Mackenzie ...
Dr. Morris
Lorri Holt ...
Ms. Rai
Brian Leonard ...
Mr. Julien
Jamal Thornes ...
Wiseacre Boy's Mate
...
Regional Bee Pronouncer
...
Regional Bee Judge
...
Edit

Storyline

Living in Oakland, California, the Naumanns are outwardly a loving, supportive family. Husband and father Saul Naumann is a Religious Studies professor, and looks to his religious training in Judaism as tenets for his family to live. He has high expectations for all members of his family. His mid-teen son, Aaron Naumann, idolizes his father, and does whatever he can to please him. His pre-teen daughter, Eliza Naumann, often feels the neglected child. So when Saul eventually learns that Eliza is participating and excelling in spelling bees, she becomes the focus of his life as he believes that letters in the form of words will lead to answers to the universe. That change in focus to Eliza makes Aaron now feel the neglected one, he who strikes out quietly in his own way with the help of Chali, a young woman he meets. But the person who has felt the most pressure within Saul's way of life is his wife, Miriam Naumann, a microbiologist. She converted from Catholicism to Judaism when she ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Family isn't just about talking. It's about understanding. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, a scene of sensuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La huella del silencio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$120,544 (USA) (11 November 2005)

Gross:

$1,177,082 (USA) (27 January 2006)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dakota Fanning was originally going to play Eliza, but directors thought that Flora Cross looked like Juliette Binoche and selected Cross instead. See more »

Goofs

The wind changes directions almost 180° when Chali first meets Aaron at the park. Shots from over her shoulder have her hair blowing back, away from her neck while the shots facing her have the wind blowing her hair forward across her neck/chin. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
National Spelling Bee Pronouncer: Number 14. Eliza Naumann, Oakland Tribune, Oakland, California. "Oppidan".
Eliza: "Oppidan".
[sighs]
Eliza: [narrating] My father told me once that words and letters hold all the secrets of the universe. That in there shapes and sounds, I could find everything and see beyond myself, to something special. Perfect. My father told me once that I could reach the ear of God.
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #2.41 (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Concerto in E Major BWV 1053
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Hae-Won Chang, Piano with Camerata Cassovia
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

I Wish More Had Been "Spelled Out" For The Audience
7 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Since I have not read the novel upon which Bee Season is based, I cannot evaluate the film's interpretation of the book. It seems, however, that there is more occurring within the characters of this story that is not stated or developed within the screenplay. And unfortunately more needed to be conveyed, and developed in order for this film to affect the audience in a useful way.

Plot Summary: The film is about an intellectual, dynamic family. Eliza (Flora Cross) enters a school spelling bee, wins, and soon realizes she has the ability to visualize words and their correct spelling. She says she feels and sees the word "talking to her." Her father, Saul Naumann (Richard Gere), a professor of Judaic Mysticism at a San Francisco university later decides that Eliza has the unique ability to speak to God. He becomes preoccupied with nurturing and developing this "gift" within his daughter, and in the process falls out of touch with his son Aaron (Max Minghella), who becomes disillusioned with his faith in Judaism and rebels against the influences of his father. Aaron begins studying Buddhism after meeting a female romantic interest who is sympathetic to his expressed feelings of emptiness and detachment. Saul's Wife, Miriam (Juliette Binoche), struggles with her own detachment from reality as she continues to mourn the death of her parents who died in an accident when she was young girl.

My Analysis: Like some of the characters in the film, I too left the film somewhat empty, or unfulfilled. I wanted to know more about what was going on with this family. The relationship between Gere's character and his son is somewhat familiar -- a son rebels against a father who is too strongly pushing his faith and interests. This form of rebellion seems typical of most adolescents. The mother and daughter share the unusual relationship; both of whom seem to possess certain supernatural powers. While it is the daughter's power to visualize and spell that is the focal point of the film, it may well be a similar ability that drives her mother to mental illness. The relationship between them should have been developed more, however.

I wanted to know what the mystical-supernatural ability meant, but the screenplay doesn't explain much, and this is frustrating. In addition, when it becomes apparent that Miriam is suffering from a severe mental disorder and continues to mourn the death of her parents, I questioned why her husband was so utterly unaware of her suffering as it had been going on for some time. He was an intelligent man who had great concern for the welfare of his family, and it didn't seem to fit his character.

The film might merely be about a domineering father and the influence his beliefs have over his family. But I'm hoping it's more than that. The story goes to pains to make it clear that there is a very real supernatural element at work here, but the film doesn't do enough to convey what this means and why it's important. I appreciate movies that are efficient, that don't hold my hand through everything and that give me credit for making inferences to tie a storyline together, or even leave the story purposely ambiguous so as to allow for interpretation, but in the case of the Bee Season, the subject matter is too abstruse and the story is too underdeveloped. I could not reach a satisfactory understanding of what occurred and why it was important.

The acting was strong, however. Binoche, Gere and company make the best of an underdeveloped script. The quality of the acting makes the problems with the script even more frustrating because it seems like this film could have been much more.


88 of 113 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Longest 105 minutes of my Life! spoken30
Brother/Sister Relationship dancinjinn
I LOVED LOVED LOVED the movie tracvoo
Juliette's Accent? pyewacket
The seizure mramlow
Richard Gere as a Jew joanbrazas
Discuss Bee Season (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?