7.3/10
19,512
56 user 109 critic

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 October 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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)
Reviews
Popularity
4,046 ( 42)
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
Uptown Girls (2003)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 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
Just Wright (2010)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A physical therapist falls for the basketball player she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury.

Director: Sanaa Hamri
Stars: Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton
Steel Magnolias (TV Movie 2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Six Louisiana women (Queen Latifah, Phylicia Dashed, Adepero Oduye, Condola Dashed, Jill Scott, Alfre Woodard) gather at a beauty salon for their daily dose of female bonding.

Director: Kenny Leon
Stars: Queen Latifah, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad
Now Is Good (2012)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A girl dying of leukemia compiles a list of things she'd like to do before passing away. Topping the list is her desire to lose her virginity.

Director: Ol Parker
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Josef Altin, Jeremy Irvine
Last Holiday (2006)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Upon learning of a terminal illness, a shy woman (Queen Latifah) decides to sell off all her possessions and live it up at a posh European hotel.

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton
The Runaways (2010)
Biography | Drama | Music
    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
I Am Sam (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mentally handicapped man fights for custody of his 7-year-old daughter, and in the process teaches his cold hearted lawyer the value of love and family.

Director: Jessie Nelson
Stars: Sean Penn, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dakota Fanning
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

When a lonely guy meets a woman on the internet who happens to be in prison, she breaks out to be with him, and proceeds to wreak havoc on his middle-class life.

Director: Adam Shankman
Stars: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy
Life Support (TV Movie 2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The true-life story of a mother who overcame an addiction to crack and became a positive role model and an AIDS activist in the black community.

Director: Nelson George
Stars: Queen Latifah, Vianca Mercedes, Anna Deavere Smith
Broken Lines (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

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

Director: Sallie Aprahamian
Stars: Paul Bettany, Olivia Williams, Dan Fredenburgh
August Rush (2007)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.

Director: Kirsten Sheridan
Stars: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Zach Taylor (as Tristan Wilds)
...
...
Renee Ford Clark ...
Doll (as Renée Clark)
...
Violet (as Sharon Morris)
...
Jasmine Burke ...
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 T-Ray, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and 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:

$10,527,799 (USA) (17 October 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

The story takes place in 1964. Throughout the story, June wears a silk-screen NAACP t-shirt. Silk-screened t-shirts did not exist until the issuance of a patent for the garment screen printing machine in 1969. See more »

Quotes

Rosaleen Daise: I feel like I've been beaten with a stick.
Lily Owens: You have been beaten, remember?
Rosaleen Daise: But not with a stick...
See more »

Connections

References Surf Party (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven's My Home
(2007)
Written by Ruby Amanfu and Katie Herzig
Performed by Sam and Ruby
Courtesy of Sam and Ruby Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Solid film...
14 September 2008 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I caught an exclusive screening of this film a week back and I must say, it might be the best film featuring a mostly black cast since "Antwone Fisher." The story centers around Lily (Dakota Fanning), a poor, lonely little girl in the deep south, who deals with a tragic past and a miserable, cruel father (Paul Bettany). Her life revolves around dreams of being every bit like her deceased mother and her relationship with her caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson).

In the midst of the civil rights movement, Rosaleen finds herself in some trouble with the locals, inspiring Lily to flee with her to a South Carolina town that she believes holds the secret to her mother's past. In this town, they find refuge with the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo), who take them in on the strength of a story concocted by Lily. Through their cultured world, filled with beekeeping, a lucrative honey business, religious beliefs and love, Lily finds the security she has longed for and finds the answers to questions that haunted her for years.

The director (Prince-Brythewood) did a great job at making us care about the characters, even the miserable father played excellently by Paul Bettany. Alicia Keys shows that some R&B singers can actually perform well in a movie, playing the snooty June Boatwright. However, the best performances has to be between Fanning and Okonedo, who played the gentle, simple minded, manic depressive May Boatwright. If Okonedo reminded me less of Thandie Newton's character in "Beloved," I would've predicted an Oscar nomination depending on this year's competition. Maybe there's one in store for Bettany? Its all left to be seen.

The film has its flaws. It dragged for a good portion of the first thirty minutes as we watch Lily and Rosaleen mill about, doing mundane things in their pitiful lives. But then it really picks up when they meet the Boatwright sisters. The characters were balancing on a thin line between empathetic and sympathetic. You never want to be in the latter. And the filmmakers couldn't resist being a bit schmaltzy on occasion, making most of it play like a good after school special with nothing beyond two dimensionality. And my biggest problem with the film... anti-climatic.

Overall, its a solid film and definitely worth the time in seeing.


86 of 114 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
closest book to movie adaptation i have ever seen KrystalYoung6
Overly earnest, obvious and lifeless. filmwatcher-2
Discuss The Secret Life of Bees (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?