MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 2,727 this week

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

 -  Drama  -  17 October 2008 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 17,082 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 52 user | 108 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother. To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with ... See full summary »

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: February

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in February.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 28 Sep 2010
 
a list of 30 titles
created 18 May 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 27 May 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 27 Jun 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 25 Jan 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

The Secret Life of Bees (2008) on IMDb 7.3/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Secret Life of Bees.

User Polls

12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hounddog (2007)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.

Director: Deborah Kampmeier
Stars: Dakota Fanning, David Morse, Piper Laurie
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1981 in L.A., Monica moves in next door to Quincy. They're 11, and both want to play in the NBA, just like Quincy's dad. Their love-hate relationship lasts into high school, with ... See full summary »

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Glenndon Chatman
Disappearing Acts (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A couple in the midst of a tumultuous relationship fight to stay together.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Wesley Snipes, Michael Imperioli
Broken Lines (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two people find themselves at a crossroads after suffering severe family tragedies.

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Stars: Paul Bettany, Olivia Williams, Dan Fredenburgh
The Runaways (2010)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A coming-of-age biographical film about the 1970s teenage all-girl rock band The Runaways. This film also explores the relationship between band members Joan Jett and Cherie Currie.

Director: Floria Sigismondi
Stars: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon
Celia (2012)
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A doctor is forced into an uncomfortable decision when her patient turns out to be the daughter of an old friend.

Director: Rodrigo García
Stars: Allison Janney, Dakota Fanning
Uptown Girls (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A grown-up woman, who kept her childish instincts and behavior, starts working as a nanny of a 8-year-old girl, who actually acts like an adult. But in the end everything turns to its right places.

Director: Boaz Yakin
Stars: Brittany Murphy, Dakota Fanning, Heather Locklear
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Renee Ford Clark ...
Doll (as Renée Clark)
...
Violet (as Sharon Morris)
...
...
Sugar Girl
Emma Sage Bowman ...
Edit

Storyline

Set in South Carolina in 1964, this is the tale of Lily Owens, 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. Written by Fox Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Bring Your Girlfriends, Sisters, Mothers and Daughters

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida Secreta das Abelhas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£74,626 (UK) (5 December 2008)

Gross:

$37,766,350 (USA) (20 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) |

Sound Mix:

| (as Dolby Stereo)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jennifer Hudson said in an interview that director Gina Prince-Bythewood had sent her to a store to get several items and while she was there, the staff and the customers verbally and racially abused her. The incident was, in fact staged by actors under Bythewood's direction in order for Hudson to get the feel of a racially tense environment, the time and setting of the film, and to help her with her characterization. See more »

Goofs

When Lily and Zach are kissing, Lily's hair keeps moving back and forth from behind her ear to the side of her face depending on the camera angle. See more »

Quotes

Neil: *Walks up to June who slowly rises from her chair* Hi.
June Boatwright: Hi.
Neil: *pause* Did you call me here to talk? I am a little busy...
June Boatwright: You ain't the only one who's busy, Neil.
Neil: *voice rises in irritation* So I'm just supposed to stand here and watch how busy you are...
June Boatwright: No! *Both turn away with a sigh*
See more »

Connections

References Surf Party (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Prelude (From The Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 In G Major)
(1717-19)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Welcome to the family!
18 October 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Writer/Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, winner of the Independent Spirit Award for Sundance hit, "Love & Basketball," has now brought the beloved, acclaimed best-seller, "The Secret Life of Bees" to the screen.

1964, South Carolina. Lily Owens (played with open-eyed honestly by Dakota Fanning) is raised in a loveless home by her cruel, distant father. Fourteen year old Lily longs for a mother she never knew. When her only friend, their black maid Rosaleen, is assaulted in a racist incident, the girls are forced to go on the run.

Lily and Rosaleen end up on the doorstep of the Boatwrights, the black sisters who own a successful honey farm. Lily concocts an elaborate lie to persuade the maternal August Boatwright (played with warm dignity by Queen Latifah) to temporarily take them in. They are met with some resistance from the guarded June (Alicia Keys), a classical cellist and civil rights activist. But they are welcomed enthusiastically by the open-hearted May (played with touching vulnerability by Sophie Okonedo). They soon find that hyper-sensitive May is moved to tears by the mention of anything sad.

August teaches Lily how to tend the bees, and May whole heartedly embraces both girls. They are soon accepted as part of the family. But Lily still needs to find the truth of why her mother left her.

This is a coming of age story and parable about how to cope with the painful truth and find forgiveness. As Lily's young love interest puts it, "It's not just about the truth. It's about what you do with it." The two sisters illustrate different ways to deal with the hard truths of life. June has closed her heart and built a protective wall to keep out hurtful emotions. While May has completely opened her heart and feels everyone's pain. Her heart is open to joy but it is also an open wound.

I loved being in this world and a part of this loving family - so much that I stayed for a second screening. This is due in part to Gina Prince-Bythewood's excellent adaptation and the wonderful acting of Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, and especially Sophie Okonedo - who is literally the heart of the film.

If you're looking for a sweet way to spend the afternoon, "The Secret Life of Bees" will supply the honey.

Movie blessings! Jana Segal reel inspiration dot blogspot dot com


54 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Unnecessary Sexual Sugestion with the Purple Honey sartor023
Seriously? No love for T Ray? JBMovies123
Did anyone else love May Boatwright? reminiscent00
what was the stuff that her father made her kneal on? livielu
Dakota's first on screen kiss hal_111091
A scene from Dakota that fell flat... rosek102
Discuss The Secret Life of Bees (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?