7.3/10
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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)
12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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
See full technical specs »
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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

Lily Owens: If your favorite color is blue, why did you paint the house pink?
August Boatwright: [chuckles] That was May's doing. When we went to the paint shop, she latched on to a color called, "Caribbean Pink." She said it made her feel like dancing a Spanish Flamenco. I personally thought it was the tackiest color I had ever seen, but I figured if it could lift May's heart, it was good enough to live in.
Lily Owens: That was awfully nice of you.
August Boatwright: Well, I don't know. Some things in life, like the color of a house, don't really matter. ...
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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

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

Soundtracks

Beautiful
(2001)
Written by India Arie, Kerisha Hicks and Blue Miller
Performed by India Arie
Courtesy of Motown Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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!!


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