7.3/10
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144 user 101 critic

The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 October 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:38 | Trailer
In 1964, a teenage girl in search of the truth about her mother runs away to a small town in South Carolina and finds a family of independent women who can connect her to her past.

Writers:

Gina Prince-Bythewood (screenplay), Sue Monk Kidd (novel)
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Secret Life of Bees is a book by author Sue Monk Kidd. See more »

Goofs

The action in the movie took place in July, 1964. When we first meet Zach, he is singing The Four Tops' "Baby, I Need Your Loving," which was not released until August 15, 1964. A few scenes later, the characters are listening to The Supremes' "Come See About Me," which was not released until November, 1964. See more »

Quotes

Rosaleen Daise: How come you all got names from a calendar?
May Boatwright: Our mama loved spring and summer. We had an April too, but she... she died when she was little.
[runs out of the room, sobbing and humming]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Home video versions (DVD and Blu-ray) include both the original theatrical version and the extended director's cut of 114 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards (2009) 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 »

User Reviews

 
A very fine film
21 November 2008 | by richard-1787See all my reviews

This movie is probably classified as a woman's empowerment film. I suppose it is that, especially for Black woman.

I'm not a woman, much less a Black woman. Still, I found this movie to be a uniformly fine creation. It has everything I want in a movie: clearly defined and well-developed characters played by actors - or, in this case, actresses - who know how to deliver carefully modulated and developed performances. The story is about how a young white girl learns to stand on her own feet, but the most interesting parts of the movie are definitely those that develop the various black characters.

I never looked at my watch once during this movie, much less went out to refill my popcorn. This is what movies are supposed to be - presentations of interesting characters participating in an interesting and involving story - but too seldom are.

Even if you're a white guy, this movie has a lot to offer.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret Life of Bees 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, 19 October 2008

Gross USA:

$37,770,162

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,952,437
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
See full technical specs »

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