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Tell It to the Bees (2018)

TV-MA | | Drama, Romance | 3 May 2019 (USA)
Trailer
1:55 | Trailer
In 1950s small town Britain, a doctor develops a relationship with her young patient's mother.

Director:

Annabel Jankel

Writers:

Henrietta Ashworth (screenplay adaptation), Jessica Ashworth (screenplay adaptation) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Billy Boyd ... Older Charlie (voice)
Gregor Selkirk ... Charlie Weekes
Anna Paquin ... Dr. Jean Markham
Euan Mason Euan Mason ... John
Holliday Grainger ... Lydia Weekes
Lauren Lyle ... Annie Stock
Kate Dickie ... Pam Stock
Lauren Annie Boyle Lauren Annie Boyle ... Chanting Girl #1 (as Lauren Boyle)
Zara Howell Zara Howell ... Chanting Girl #2
Violet Fluendy Violet Fluendy ... Chanting Girl #3
Kaidon McGrath Kaidon McGrath ... Bully
Liam Meghan Liam Meghan ... Billy
Joanne Gallagher ... Mrs. Bewick
Joni Samson Joni Samson ... Connie
Isaac Jenkins Isaac Jenkins ... Tim Bewick
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Storyline

A single mother Lydia (Holliday Grainger) who is abandoned by her husband, meets the small village's Doctor Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) who has recently returned to her hometown when Lydia's son Charlie is taken to the doctor after being bullied in school. When Lydia and Charlie are evicted because of Lydia's earnings from her work are not adequate to pay the rent, Jean invites them to stay in her home and she and Lydia soon develop a friendship and something more. Written by Merve Kurt

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Adapted from a novel by Fiona Shaw. However, the book's happy ending was changed to a more bittersweet ending in the movie. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jean Markham: This town is too small for secrets
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User Reviews

 
Secrets
2 May 2019 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Secrets and lies become a tangled web of messiness that impacts lives and relationships in this story adapted from Fiona Shaw's 2009 novel. Annabel Jankel (known for her music videos and as a creator of Max Headroom) directs the script from sisters Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, and we learn that this rural community in 1952 Scotland is filled with judgmental and close-minded folks unable to accept that some don't live and love according to society's general rules of the time.

Holliday Grainger ("The Borgias") stars as Lydia, mother to young Charlie (Gregor Selkirk), and the two have recently been abandoned by husband -father Robert (Emun Elliott). Charlie is a sensitive boy - in touch with nature, and observant to his mother's emotional strains. After a schoolyard scuffle, Charlie is treated by the town's new doctor, Dr. Markham (Anna Paquin, "True Blood"), who not only treats his bruises, but also teaches him about the bees and hives in her garden. She lets him know that telling your secrets to the bees keeps them from flying away.

Dr. Markham has returned to the community where she grew up, and the rumors of her teenage years have not faded. Her father recently passed and she has returned to her roots to take his place as the local doctor. When Lydia gets sacked at the factory where she works (by Kate Dickie's Pam, her spinster sister-in-law/supervisor), Dr. Markham hires Lydia as a housekeeper and invites her and Charlie to move into the house left to her by her father.

"This town is too small for secrets" is not simply a line of dialogue, but easily could have been the title of the films. As Charlie tells his secrets to the bees, Lydia and Dr. Markham grow closer ... creating confusion for Charlie, challenges for the two women, and disgust within the community. Robert is a brut of a man, and threatens Lydia in every way a simple man might. There is also a subplot around Lydia's younger sister-in-law Annie (Lauren Lyle), who is pregnant from a secretive interracial relationship. What follows is a vicious response from the close-minded folks previously mentioned.

An older Charlie is our narrator, and most of the story is told from his point of view. Secrets kept by children are contrasted by those of adults, and it's clear that both cause harm. The first part of the movie is beautifully filmed, though the story structure wobbles a bit in the second half. There are many fascinating close-ups of bees and hives, although a mystical/supernatural sequence is difficult to buy. Excellent acting is on display throughout, especially by young Gregor Selkirk and Ms. Grainger, whose face the camera loves. The film is quite tastefully done, and focused as much on the small-minded town folks reaction as the blossoming relationship between the two leads. A stronger third act would have elevated the film, though the first half hour is well done.


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Details

Country:

UK | Sweden

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tell It to the Bees See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$151,107
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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