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Bee Season (2005)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 5,651 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 73 user | 76 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.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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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
John Evans ...
Regional Bee Judge
...
Edit

Storyline

11-year-old Eliza Naumann comes from an odd family; they all divert their emotional frustrations into secret channels. When Eliza unexpectedly begins winning spelling bees, what had been a stable dynamic within the family becomes disrupted; long held secrets emerge, and a latent spiritual yearning is awakened in her withdrawn father Saul and compulsive mother Miriam. As Eliza moves closer and closer to the national spelling bee, the Naumann family finds itself in a spiral of surprising discovery and jarring uncertainty... Written by J Grimshaw

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

17 November 2005 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

La huella del silencio  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$46,927 (Brazil) (23 December 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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Murphy auditioned for the part of Aaron Naumann. See more »

Goofs

The writing on the chalkboard (especially the underlines) changes between shots when Aaron and Eliza visit Saul while he is teaching his class. 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

References La Dolce Vita (1960) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
a mesmerizing tour de force: don't miss it!
12 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film last night at the Toronto Film Festival. I am a fan of the book, and wondered how the story could be successfully adapted as a film. I worried that the ideas were too complicated, the characters too subtle, to make the transition. When I heard that Richard Gere was going to play the role of the father, I had more serious doubts. (Richard Gere playing a Jew? Almost as ridiculous as Melanie Griffith!) But I needn't have worried. The film is nearly a masterpiece. A subtle, emotional journey through a world of spelling bees, Hare Krishna, Kaballah, Kleptomania, and the gorgeously rendered interior spaces of the imagination. Beautiful, original special effects, delightful characters, great acting. The girl who plays the daughter is excellent, as are the other actors. Juliette Binoche is heartbreaking and mysterious, Richard Gere is perfectly cast as the self-absorbed (Jewish!) father, and Anthony Minghella's son is also in the movie, believe it or not, and he's very good.

There are changes from the book. But the overall feeling is very similar. The movie is neither as funny or as dark as Myla Goldberg's novel. But the end might be more emotionally satisfying. See for yourself! You won't be disappointed if you approach with an open mind. Not for the cynical, or for the action film junkie, but I found this a delightful, rich, and emotional journey. Definitely a 10! Put it on the Oscar watch.


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