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The Secret Life of Bees (2008)

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

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

Rosaleen Daise: I know you can't understand. Apologizing to those men would have just been a different way of dying. Except I had to live with it
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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

References Surf Party (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Alright
(1986)
Written by Sam Cooke and Anthony Gourdine
Performed by Little Anthony and the Imperials (as Little Anthony & the Imperials)
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment and EMI Records Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
And 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 skroehrSee 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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