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The Secret Life of Bees
Secret Life of Bees
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Learn more about Secret Life of Bees:

Format: DVD
Sku: 210520564
UPC: 024543556329
UPC 14: 00024543556329
Category Keywords: 1960s  Based On A Novel  Theatrical Release
Rating: Game Rating Code
See more in Family & Kids
From the Celebrated Best-Selling Novel.
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).

"Soars on the strength of strong acting and a script that stubbornly refuses to go all sappy and preachy.  Chris Kaltenbach, Baltimore Sun
"It warms the heart in the hands of such sensitive storytellers.  Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer
"Enchanting...heartwarming.  Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Suffused with a golden glow, the movie looks and sounds like a fairy tale.  Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle
"It's the strength of the actresses and their nurturing community that makes this Eden so satisfying.  Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Editor's 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.


Video Features DVD, Widescreen, Aspect Ratio 2.35:1, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced

Technical Info

Release Information
Video Mfg Name Studio: Foxvideo
Video Release Date Release Date: 8/19/2014
Video Play Time Running Time: 109 minutes
Video Release Year Original Release Date: 2008
Video CategoryId Catalog ID: 2255632
Video UPC UPC: 00024543556329
Video Number of Discs Number of Discs: 1

Audio & Video
Video Original Language Original Language: English
Video Audio Spec Available Audio Tracks: English, Spanish Dubbed
Video Subtitle Available Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Video Color Spec Video: Color

Aspect Ratio
Video Aspect Ratio Widescreen  2.35:1
Entertainment Reviews
Expert Review The Secret Life of Bees - DVD Review
By: Bill Gibron DVD Reviews
Published on: 1/23/2009 7:46 PM
Caucasians, apparently, have no soul. Or heart. Or common sense. According to the movies, whenever the majority lacks a moment of personal clarity, they seek solace, advice, and sage-like wisdom from the groups they marginalized for centuries. As a result, some manner of karmic comeuppance is achieved. The latest example of this Bagger Vance-ing of inferred race relations is The Secret Life of Bees. Set in the percolating days of the Civil Rights Movement, this weepy feel-good sampling of you-go-girl saccharine has some real value. But it can't avoid the sugared-sap cliches that have helped to craft this particular motion picture the full review

Cast & Crew

Video Cast Info Nate Parker
Video Cast Info Dakota Fanning
Video Cast Info Alicia Keys
Video Cast Info Tristan Wilds
Video Cast Info Sophie Okonedo
Video Cast Info Paul Bettany
Video Cast Info Queen Latifah
Video Cast Info Jennifer Hudson
Video Cast Info Hilarie Burton
Video Cast Info Mark Isham - Composer
Video Cast Info Terilyn A. Shropshire - Editor
Video Cast Info James Lassiter - Producer
Video Cast Info Jada Pinkett Smith - Executive Producer
Video Cast Info Warren Alan Young - Production Designer
Video Cast Info Rogier Stoffers - Director of Photography
Video Cast Info Sue Monk Kidd - Source Writer
Video Cast Info Lauren Shuler Donner - Producer
Video Cast Info Will Smith - Producer
Video Cast Info Linda Cohen - Music Supervisor
Video Cast Info Joe Pichirallo - Producer
Video Cast Info Gina Prince-Bythewood - Screenwriter
Video Cast Info Gina Prince-Bythewood - Director

Professional Reviews

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

"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

Los Angeles Times 5 of 10
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. - Carina Chocano

ReelViews 9 of 10
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. - James Berardinelli

Product Attributes

Product attributeActor:   Fanning,Dakota
Product attributeLabel:   Fox Home Entertainment
Product attributeMusic Format:   DVD
Product attributeVideo Format:   DVD
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