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Mainstream - The Secret Life of Bees

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The Secret Life of Bees
Theatrical / Director's Cut
Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Fox Home Entertainment 2009
109 minutes

The Secret Life of Bees DVD features the original theatrical version and a longer director’s cut. The many people who enjoyed this excellent chick flick and partly coming of age movie in the theatres will certainly be getting the disc. The Secret Life of Bees is a movie mother and daughter will enjoy watching together (aside from the occasional use of the N word) and that, I am sure, will become a perennial favorite for a few girls out there.

Set in 1964 America just when the Civil Rights Bill became law, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of a motherless 14-year-old who discovers life. This movie is an example of what American cinema can be like when people make the effort.

Lily (Dakota Fanning) lives alone with T-ray, her abusive and very distant father, and takes care of the Peach stand. Rosaleen, her caregiver (Jennifer Hudson, Oscar for Dreamgirls) tries to register to vote and this causes a conflict with the white folk. Her father’s reaction is the last straw for Lily who decides to run away and take Rosaleen with her. They head to South Carolina which is where Lily’s mother came from.

Lily is attracted by the label on a jar of honey made by the Boatwright sisters (Queen Latifah and Sophie Okedo). The picture has a connection with her mother. The Boatwright sisters take in Rosaleen and Lily. That is where this really kicks off.

Of course, The Secret Life of Bees is a movie abuzz with metaphors.

The Secret Life of Bees is a magical movie that really requires the viewer’s concentration, something the viewer willingly gives. Excellent performances all around by an excellent case only add to the experience.

It is astounding to me The Secret Life of Bees did not garner a single Academy Award nomination. They could have at least thrown one in for the exquisite cinematography.

Special features on The Secret Life of Bees DVD include:

Theatrical cut of the film

Director’s Extended Cut Featuring Never-Before-Seen Footage

Eight Deleted Scenes

The World Premiere

The Women And Men Of The Secret Life Of Bees

Adaptation: Bringing The Secret Life of Bees To The Big Screen

Inside The Pink House With Sue Monk Kidd

Commentary With Director/WriterGinaPrince-Bythewood, Producers Lauren Shuler Donner and Joe Pichirallo, Actors Dakota Fanning And Queen Latifah

Commentary With Director/Writer Gina Prince-Bythewood and Editor Terilyn Shropshire

The Secret Life of Bees Blu-ray also includes Beekeeping 101 with Dakota Fanning.


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