Secret Life of Bees

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Product Overview

Set in south carolina in 1964, is the moving tale of lily owens (fanning) a 14 year-old girl who is haunted by the memory of her late mother (burton).


Studio Foxvideo
SKU 210520564
UPC 024543556329
UPC 14 00024543556329
Format DVD
Release Date 1/6/2015
Rating Rating
Based On A Novel
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Book club favorite THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES more than just survives its transition to the screen. Thanks to its strong cast, this female-centric drama thrives. Dakota Fanning stars as Lily, a 14-year-old girl living with her abusive father (Paul Bettany) in South Carolina in 1964. Lily struggles with a burden of guilt after she accidentally killed her mother a decade before, and she longs for knowledge of the woman. When the family's caretaker Rosaleen (Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson) is arrested after standing up to a group of violent white men, Lily seizes the opportunity to run off with Rosaleen and search for clues to her mother's life. They arrive at the home of the Boatwrights, a trio of black sisters. Motherly August (Queen Latifah) cultivates the state's most coveted honey, June (Alicia Keys) focuses on her music and on rebuffing the advances of an ardent suitor (Nate Parker), and childlike May (Sophie Okonedo) struggles to stay happy in the turbulent time. But in a still-racist world where the Civil Rights Act has just been passed, the Boatwrights' home acts as a haven for Lily as she searches for information about her mother's past. ^The heavy drama could've presented a challenge for Fanning, who has gone beyond the role of a little girl, but she does a fine job. The other actresses in the film, especially Latifah and Okonedo, shine without overpowering the other performances. Bettany departs from his usual charming roles and melts into the difficult part of Lily's violent father. In the spirit of past favorites such as THE COLOR PURPLE and CORRINA, CORRINA, THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES presents a gripping look at the South in the 1960s with a nice balance of laughter and tears.
USA Today "The ensemble cast is the film's strongest asset....Those who were moved by the book are likely to find this adaptation affecting and emotionally satisfying." 10/17/2008
Premiere "One of the pleasures of the film is that the themes don't hit you over the head....There are some deeply emotional moments..." 10/24/2008
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Dakota Fanning
Alicia Keys
Sophie Okonedo
Queen Latifah
Cast & Crew
Nate Parker - Star
Dakota Fanning - Star
Alicia Keys - Star
Tristan Wilds - Star
Sophie Okonedo - Star
Paul Bettany - Star
Queen Latifah - Star
Jennifer Hudson - Star
Hilarie Burton - Star
Mark Isham - Composer
Terilyn A. Shropshire - Editor
James Lassiter - Producer
Jada Pinkett Smith - Executive Producer
Warren Alan Young - Production Designer
Rogier Stoffers - Director of Photography
Sue Monk Kidd - Source Writer
Lauren Shuler Donner - Producer
Will Smith - Producer
Linda Cohen - Music Supervisor
Joe Pichirallo - Producer
Gina Prince-Bythewood - Screenwriter
Gina Prince-Bythewood - Director
Technical Info
Catalog ID 2255632
UPC 00024543556329
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 109 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  2.35:1
ReviewSource Los Angeles Times
Review I get why Dakota Fanning keeps getting offered these motherless waif roles in Southern-fried melodramas. Those saucer eyes, that lunar pallor, the Georgia accent, the guts to rat her hair into a dull mat and skulk around in shabby rooms that scream my-daddy-drinks. What I don't get is why she keeps taking them...Not that "The Secret Life of Bees," Gina Prince-Bythewood's high-minded and expensive-looking adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's bestselling novel, exists on the same plane as "Hounddog," the scrappy little howler otherwise hysterically (and speciously, it turns out, but that's show business) known as "the Dakota Fanning rape movie." On the contrary, what's being sold here is the movie equivalent of the honey-drenched sweet potato biscuits that are forever being passed around on-screen. Their nutritional value may be nil, but they sure look comforting..."The Secret Life of Bees" offers a consoling fantasy, or rather several consoling fantasies -- among them that a lonely adolescent fleeing her unhappy home might, if she's lucky, land without much effort squarely in the generous bosom of a family of beautiful strangers kinder, more loving and infinitely better art-directed than her own. Set in the South of the 1960s, the story unfolds against a backdrop of utter down-home gorgeousness, in a place where racism, when it occasionally rears its head, takes everyone a little off-guard...The charismatic Latifah is as warm and expansive as ever, but in her casual Friday khakis and modern businesswoman confidence she feels anachronous and out of place. She has carved out a niche as a sort of comforter of the afflicted, and although she wears her sainthood lightly it would be nice to see her do something different.
Reviewer Carina Chocano
ReviewRating 5
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review When it comes to movies that touch the heart, few have a more delicate yet undeniable impact than Gina Prince-Bythewood's The Secret Life of Bees. Adapted from the novel by Sue Monk Kidd, the production achieves something few literary interpretations succeed at: bringing out the inner voice of a character without resorting to an incessant voiceover. This is due in no small part to the mature, nuanced performance of Dakota Fanning, whose talent continues to develop as she ages. By resisting the temptation to over-emote, Fanning makes Lily an individual worthy of sympathy and admiration...For Fanning, this is a leap forward from Hounddog. Her character here is in many ways similar to the girl she played in the earlier movie, but the nature and quality of the performance is much different. Given the superior material of The Secret Life of Bees and the sure-handed direction of sophomore filmmaker Prince-Bythewood, Fanning shines in a role that requires her to teeter back and forth between adult and child, displaying decisiveness one moment and uncertainty the next...The other actress to stand out is, unsurprisingly, Queen Latifa, whose intense screen presence makes her a force to be reckoned with even when she's simply standing in the background, not saying anything...If there's a sense that the film's ending is a little abrupt, that's a credit to the filmmakers. Lily is such a vibrant character and her world is so expertly formed that we want the story to extend beyond what could reasonably be considered its natural end-point. It's hard to imagine that The Secret Life of Bees won't be part of many Oscar conversations. It has the intelligence, craftsmanship, and heart to win over both critics and regular movie-goers.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
Product Attributes
Actor Fanning,Dakota
Label Fox Home Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun Soars on the strength of strong acting and a script that stubbornly refuses to go all sappy and preachy.
Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer It warms the heart in the hands of such sensitive storytellers.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times Enchanting...heartwarming.
Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle Suffused with a golden glow, the movie looks and sounds like a fairy tale.
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer It's the strength of the actresses and their nurturing community that makes this Eden so satisfying.

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