5.5/10
6,616
75 user 79 critic

Bee Season (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Family | 23 November 2005 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
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:

Myla Goldberg (novel), Naomi Foner (screenplay) (as Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Gere ... Saul
Juliette Binoche ... Miriam
Flora Cross ... Eliza
Max Minghella ... Aaron
Kate Bosworth ... Chali
Corey Fischer ... National Spelling Bee Pronouncer
Sam Zuckerman Sam Zuckerman ... National Spelling Bee Judge
Joan Mankin Joan Mankin ... Ms. Bergermeyer
Piers Mackenzie Piers Mackenzie ... Dr. Morris
Lorri Holt Lorri Holt ... Ms. Rai
Brian Leonard Brian Leonard ... Mr. Julien
Jamal Thornes Jamal Thornes ... Wiseacre Boy's Mate
Kathy McGraw ... Regional Bee Pronouncer
John Evans John Evans ... Regional Bee Judge
Alisha Mullally ... Young Miriam
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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 | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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

When Aaron goes to Church, after the priest says "This is the Lamb of God...etc" Catholics should answer: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed". People in the Church do not respond to the priest, but go directly to receive Communion, and it is very clear that the ceremony going on is Catholic 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.
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Connections

References La Dolce Vita (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Hare Krishna Kirtan
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Bee Season-Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered Am I **
1 May 2006 | by edwagreenSee all my reviews

Madonna and mysticism. Madonna and the Kabbalah.

...And now Richard Gere. What's next?

Believe it or not, Gere is Jewish in this film and he marries Juliette Binoche, a Catholic turned Jewess. They have two bright children. Gere teaches about kabbalah with Jewish mysticism at a college.

He is immersed in religious thought and with the idea of his daughter winning a spelling bee. He uses kabbalah to train his daughter with regards to letter and word relationships.

Sorry to say that the film is weird. Feeling left out by his father, his son turns to religious experimentation. This leads to difficult scene with his son where Gere actually uses the 4 letter word.

To make matters worse, the wife has been stealing objects through the years and is hospitalized in a mental ward.

The ending is a surprise but it's needed to show Gere that the world is far from perfect. Those who wrote the screenplay for this film should have realized this as well.


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Details

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English | Hebrew

Release Date:

23 November 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bee Season See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$120,544, 13 November 2005

Gross USA:

$1,180,560

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,856,989
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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