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Friday, December 12, 2008

Bees and Their Secrets

Tuesday was movie night for my sister and I and we decided to see the movie, "The Secret Life of Bees". We had seen a few reviews of it and were hoping it would come to our little town's movie theatre and it did! So off we went...and it was WELL worth it. A very touching storyline. Not without a few alarming scenes to children though.

But...here's the general idea...Learning the proper etiquette for dealing with bees while attempting to harvest their honey becomes a metaphor for life in this movie that deals with civil rights issues, domestic abuse and forgiveness. The movie takes place in the sixties.

Fourteen-year-old Lily (Dakota Fanning) struggles with guilt over the loss of her mother, as well as an emotionally and physically abusive relationship with her father (Paul Bettany). The closest thing to love she has experienced in her young life is the kindness of Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), a colored woman hired to do domestic tasks. So when the housekeeper is beaten while attempting to register to vote, Lily is determined to rescue them both. Setting off toward freedom, they head for a small town in the south where Lily believes her Mom once lived.

With only a picture of a black Madonna and child as a clue, the pair are led to the home of three sisters living on a honey farm. August Boatwright (Queen Latifah) fulfills the role of matriarch for her sisters June (Alicia Keys) and psychologically challenged May (Sophie Okonedo). Her heart is as big as her smile, and she welcomes the strangers, even though she obviously thinks something is up. To earn their keep while they are staying there, Rosaleen is assigned to help in the kitchen while Lily begins learning the secrets of beekeeping to help with the family business.

Between the chores, the women come together to offer each other emotional, social and spiritual support -- things that will be needed in great supply!!

The characters try and distill every drop of hope and love they can from the difficult challenges that come their way.....just like the honey that they extract from the bees' hives! While the issues of civil rights and discrimination rage, the script turns its focus inward and offers interpersonal insights between the characters and examples of acceptance and forgiveness.

In my opinion, the performances of all of the actresses were solid...even award winning! Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keyes were amazing...as was Dakota Fanning! That girl is amazing beyond her years!! The film doesn't end all nicely wrapped up, but it definitely promotes positive examples of taking control of your life.

We both left the theatre with a satisfied feeling...it really was a feel-good kind of movie...although, like I said, there are some rough patches.

6 comments:

angi_b72 said...

Sounds liek a movie I would like, might have to check it out this weekend!

Brenda said...

Sounds like my kind of movie too!

Karen said...

I want to see it!

Katya said...

This sounds like an excellent movie and you are an amazing critic! Thank you for the info. I have a hard time going to the theatre...I just cannot sit STILL!

Hope you are stayng warm! It is COLD out there! Great night to sit and look at all the pretty lights!!!

A Spot of T said...

I read the book ages ago and I've been wanting to see the movie. Sounds really good, lots of great actors in it.

spread your wings said...

i read the book a long time ago and really enjoyed it, my daughter just finished the book. we can't wait to see the movie. i'm glad to hear it was good.