Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) has few memories of her mother but they are pieced together and tragic, but what she does know is that the puzzle includes her mother dying. Still living with her abusive father Lily and her caregiver, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) set out to uncover the past of her mother’s life. They find themselves in the heart of South Carolina at the Boatwright home. August Boatwright and her two sisters make honey and have acres of land keeping bees. The bees fascinate Lily and as she finds solace in them, she also finds the deep dark secrets of her mother, hidden right in the very same Boatwright plantation.
So I’m at the library trying to pick out a movie to review for you wonderful and loyal Clearplay owners, and I overhear (Ok I may have been blatantly eavesdropping) a mother and her daughter wanting to find The Secret Life of Bees, because of, and I quote, “How cute of a movie it is...” So I’m inspired and excited to watch this “cute” movie only to find that it’s a heart-wrenching movie that includes racism, death, suicide, and abuse. Until of course Lily finds the Boatwrights who teach her what love feels like. In that way the movie was cute, but that part was overshadowed by the gloom of the ways of the south in the 60’s. Bummer! The acting is phenomenal, both Dakota Fanning and Jennifer deliver stellar performances, and Queen Latifah actually can pull off a wise, religious, mother figure! Who knew?? So watch this film because it has wonderful acting with a storyline that will tug and pull, and yank on your heartstrings, but don’t be mistaken, it is NOT a cute feel good movie for the whole family!
Motherly Advice: I watched this film with my filters all on medium and was spared a whole lot of cursing. I was also spared some pretty devastating scenes where Rosaleen is beaten, as well as a couple other black people beaten down by angry townspeople. You see a couple of harmless kissing scenes between one of the Boatwright sisters, and Lily’s dad is shown drinking quite a bit. Regretfully I rented this movie in hopes of reviewing a movie that would be appropriate for the whole family, but because of the racism, the beatings, the suicide, bullying, abuse (both verbal and physical), I actually wouldn’t recommend this film for anyone under 15.
Trisha~ Eavesdropping is not always a good thing…lesson learned!