The Secret Life of Bees

Release Date: October 17, 2008

Movie of the Day for Monday, August 4, 2008
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An adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's well-regarded 2002 novel, The Secret Life of Bees is set to be released on October 17, 2008 after beginning production in early 2008. The book was a women's book club hit in the tradition of Rebecca Wells' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and dealt with a number of themes that frequently pop up in titles that fall into that particular sub-genre, namely racism and the experience of women in the repressed culture of the American South in the 1960s. More generally, the book deals with the notion of female community, and it is this theme that seems most likely to attract a broad (albeit female) audience to theaters.

The picture is the second feature film credit for director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball), and Prince-Bythewood has assembled a cast that skirts the line between signaling an attempt to gain critical respectability and an attempt to attract a wide audience. Headlined by Dakota Fanning, the cast also includes Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Sophie Okonedo, and Paul Bettany. Several television actors have been cast in the film as well, including former MTV VJ and One Tree Hill star Hilarie Burton, who will play Fanning's mother, as well as Tristan Wilds (Michael on The Wire) as Fanning's love interest. There is certainly a lot of talent here, but whether the film enjoys the success of an adaptation like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood or The Hours or instead fails to connect with audiences à la The Kite Runner ultimately depends on the cast's magnetism. (Calvin Trager/BOP)

Vital statistics for The Secret Life of Bees
Main Cast Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson
Supporting Cast Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys, Paul Bettany, Hilarie Burton, Nate Parker
Director Gina Prince-Bythewood
Screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood
Distributor Fox Searchlight Pictures
Awards Awards page for The Secret Life of Bees
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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