7.3/10
23,662
144 user 100 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 »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The pressures of fame have superstar singer Noni on the edge, until she meets Kaz, a young cop who works to help her find the courage to develop her own voice and break free to become the artist she was meant to be.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nate Parker, Minnie Driver
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Monica and Quincy love and play basketball together through many life challenges from childhood to adulthood.

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood
Stars: Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps, Glenndon Chatman
Last Holiday (2006)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

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

Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton
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 5.9/10 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
I Am Sam (2001)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
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
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Antwone Fisher, a young navy man, is forced to see a psychiatrist after a violent outburst against a fellow crewman. During the course of treatment a painful past is revealed and a new hope begins.

Director: Denzel Washington
Stars: Denzel Washington, Derek Luke, Joy Bryant
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Nine virtual-reality films starring the year's best actors - and you, the viewer.

Directors: Ami Canaan Mann, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Don Cheadle, Ruth Negga, Trevante Rhodes
Selma (2014)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey
Beauty Shop (2005)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A determined hairstylist (Queen Latifah) competes with her former boss (Kevin Bacon) after opening her own business in Atlanta.

Director: Bille Woodruff
Stars: Queen Latifah, Alicia Silverstone, Djimon Hounsou
Dreamgirls (2006)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy
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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Lili's mother's name "Deborah", means bee in Hebrew. See more »

Goofs

When Lily and Rosaleen are drinking their Cokes on the grass outside the Boatwright house, you see Rosaleen drink the last of the soda, but you can clearly hear the liquid flowing back into the bottle. See more »

Quotes

Lily Owens: You think something being an impossibility makes you think about it even more?
May Boatwright: Like what?
Lily Owens: I don't know. Like... kissin'.
May Boatwright: That ain't impossible. When I was 15, I made a 7UP cake for this boy. After that, he kissed me all the time.
Lily Owens: What'd it feel like?
May Boatwright: Like I was gonna burst.
Lily Owens: Miss May, I know you get real sad sometimes. My daddy never feels. He never felt anything. I had rather be like you.
May Boatwright: A worker bee weigh less than a flower petal, but she can fly with a load heavier than her. But she only lives for ...
[...]
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

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Anne Hathaway/The Killers (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

O Susanna
(1848)
(Published as "Oh! Susanna")
Music by Stephen Foster (uncredited)
Traditional
See more »

User Reviews

 
The Secret Life Of Bees is a powerful, amazing & excellent film followed by strong performances.
27 October 2008 | by michael11391See all my reviews

Let me just say that the movie NEVER had dull moment or even a second in the ENTIRE film!!! Set in South Carolina 1964, Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) who is haunted by the memory of her late mother, tries to escape her lonely life and bad relationship with her father (Paul Bettany), to get past her horrible incident with her late mother. So, she and her caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) flees to a South Carolina town where it holds the secret of her mother's past. Lily and Rosaleen finds the intelligent Boatwright sisters: August (Queen Latifah), June (Alicia Keys and May (Sophie Okenendo) where they take Lily and Rosaleen in, to have a place to stay for a while.

The Secret Life Of Bees is a movie of what you call a "tearjerker" and that's what it is, the movie will touch your heart and teaches you about life, care, love & forget about your horrible past and move on. As for performances, everyone delivers and a couple of Oscar-worthy ones too. Dakota Fanning and Sophie Okenendo are the ones that delivers the Oscar-worthy performances. Come Oscars season, don't be surprised if any of those both actresses will be in the envelope (they deserved to get those nods!!) Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson (R.I.P her brother and mother who just passed away one day ago.) delivered their best performances yet even Jennifer (I thought this was her best performance yet and better than ever Oscar-winning performance in Dreamgirls.). As for the supporting actors: Bettany, Parker and Wilds, they did great as well.

The Secret Life Of Bees is one of this year's best films, rush out and buy a ticket for this wonderful and amazing film!!


21 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 144 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed