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By Samantha Ofole-Prince
In this delightful flick set in South Carolina during the turbulent Civil Rights era, Latifah, Keys and Okonedo play the honey-making Boatwright sisters whose lives are suddenly thrust into upheaval with the surprise arrival of a teenage girl.
Based on the bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, the story centers around Fanning’s troubled character Lily Owens, a gawky adolescent who is plagued with guilt by her role in the accidental shooting death of her mother. A loner, Lily lives on a dreary peach farm with her obnoxious and abusive father (Bettany) whose disciplinary tactics includes having her remained kneeled for hours on a pile of grits. After her caregiver Rosaleen (Hudson) is severally beaten, both flee to Tiburon, South Carolina where they find shelter at the Boatwright household.
Entertaining and inspirational with a few tears along the way “Bees” is a remarkably good flick with a collection of exceptionally good actors whose characters are worth the cinematic investment.
Latifah as August Boatwright, the family matriarch, exudes warmth and geniality. Traits, which are a delicate contrast to her fiercely independent sister June (Keys) and the innocent childish demeanor of their younger sister May who’s played by Okonedo.
“The Secret Life of Bees” explores our undeniable desire for a sense of belonging and the often daunting journeys we navigate to achieve it and is a wonderful coming of age drama which takes place in an intricate and poignant setting.
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