Mediocre movie-adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's novel. GRADE: C-plus

Written October 10, 2008
I attended the advance press screening of this 1hr and 50 mins movie by director/screenwriter Gina Prince-Bythewood. Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Sophie Okonedo, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, and Paul Bettany were EXCELLENT - despite their flat under-developed characters. Ms. Gina could have fleshed-out the major characters instead of being fixated with the story/plot - thereby missing opportunities to explore deeper the potentials inherent in the spiritual/religious theme (the mother figure - Black Madonna and Child) as well as the bees symbolism. Other themes in this movie were feminism/sisterhood, empowerment, racism/civil rights, loneliness and the search for personal identity. This movie would have benefited from a more experienced director/screen-writer who knows how to set the mood. Cinematography, editing, and production values were mediocre. Verdict: Recommended. This movie should get a strong buzz among art-house/indie-movies fan and fans of the stars.
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By Alnola
Written October 16, 2008
Great adaptation of the book with good editing for continuity. Great performances by whole cast, especially Alicia Keyes. Timey reminder of how the mid-60's actually were set against the background of this story. Not a "chick" movie or a "kid" movie---just a good 'movie" movie.
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Great movie, but lacking...

By katjm
Written October 20, 2008
I loved this book so was excited to see that the movie was being made with this cast. They did a great job turning the book into a movie. The acting was good. I cried and cheered. Dakota Fanning was truly phenomenal. The only thing holding me back from giving this a "Must Go" was Queen Latifa. I LOVE her, normally. But the character she plays, Miss August, is a strong woman who has been through a lot - is very loving, but has a hurt in her too. Latifa played the part with a constant smile. Even the most important lines in the film, regarding the secret life of bees, was nearly thrown away, the way she played it - it just didn't come through right. I don't know how else to say it other than there was a depth to Miss August in the book that was completely missing in this movie, and that depth would have made this an outstanding, all-around Oscar winning movie that I'd buy and watch over and over again. Without that depth in her performance, it was just a good movie
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Queen Latifah Rocks!

By skimbones
Written October 31, 2008
Why am I a fan of Queen Latifah? Cuz she rocks! The movie is great. Go see an older Dakota Fanning - she doesn't play the cute kid in this movie - and the great Queen Latifah. Some parts make you sad, some parts make you happy, some parts make you mad.
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By Grandma Kathy
Written October 18, 2008
This was about the best movie I've seen this year. We need more heartwarming movies like this. People don't want to go to the movies to be depressed. This movie lifts us up and gives us hope for a brighter tomorrow. The acting was perfect, Academy Award quality for sure! This is a must see for people of all ages!
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