The Secret Life of Bees

Rated 3.0

The film, beautifully directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), is based on Sue Monk Kidd’s 2002 best-selling novel about Lily (played by Dakota Fanning), a teenager growing up with an uncaring father (Paul Bettany) in early-’60s South Carolina. And after a particularly bad experience between a group of white men and Lily’s housekeeper, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), the two run away, in search of answers about Lily’s mother. Their quest leads them to the doorstep of August Boatright (Queen Latifah) and her sisters, May and June (played by Sophie Okonedo and Alicia Keys). They’re strong, cultured black women, and they take the runaways in, in exchange for help with the housework and August’s honey-making business. Lily, whose notebook scribblings narrate the film, hopes to find closure for the death of her mother, when she was just 4. She finds comfort in the motherliness of August and the emotions of May, and strength in the independent diva June. The bees also play a big role, and as Lily helps August tend to their hives, she learns a little bit about life. Feather River Cinemas, and Tinseltown. Rated PG-13