7.3/10
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59 user 106 critic

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

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

Gina Prince-Bythewood (screenplay), Sue Monk Kidd (novel)
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Popularity
3,661 ( 690)
12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dakota Fanning ... Lily Owens
Queen Latifah ... August Boatwright
Jennifer Hudson ... Rosaleen Daise
Alicia Keys ... June Boatwright
Sophie Okonedo ... May Boatwright
Paul Bettany ... T. Ray Owens
Hilarie Burton ... Deborah Owens
Tristan Mack Wilds ... Zach Taylor (as Tristan Wilds)
Nate Parker ... Neil
Shondrella Avery ... Greta
Renee Ford Clark Renee Ford Clark ... Doll (as Renée Clark)
Sharon Conley ... Violet (as Sharon Morris)
Nicky Buggs ... Cressie
Jasmine Burke ... Sugar Girl
Emma Sage Bowman Emma Sage Bowman ... Young Lily
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Secreta das Abelhas See more »

Filming Locations:

Watha, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,527,799, 17 October 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$37,766,350, 22 February 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,947,322, 27 May 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(director's cut) |

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)| SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alicia Keys learned to play the cello in 4 weeks for this part. 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

Zach Taylor: Miss August told me about you being here helping out. She didn't mention anything about you being white.
Lily Owens: Maybe she didn't notice.
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Connections

Featured in The 35th Annual People's Choice Awards (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Hippy Hippy Shake
Written by Chan Romero (as Robert L. Romero)
Performed by The Swinging Blue Jeans
Courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Superb dramatic movie making.
26 October 2008 | by Steve Roehr (skroehr)See all my reviews

These are cynical times, and the U.S. is still struggling with it's feelings on race, even today. The more of these types of movies, the better. Simple human love comes through in every frame. After a summer of superheroes and sex humor comedies, this was the most life affirming and refreshing film I've seen so far this year. If the academy doesn't recognize some folks from this film, they'd be remiss. I smell Oscar all over this film. Queen Latifah was wonderful as usual. Sophie Okonedo played an emotionally damaged woman with perfect pitch and demeanor. Paul Bettany's performance of the alternately hurt and hurtful father was a challenge. You needed to both hate him, and sympathize with him for the role to be effective, and I thought he pulled this off well. Just simply a moving story, a great script, top notch acting, and all beautifully shot. I place it in the must see category.


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