Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Secret Life of Bees............................Worth All the Buzz

The Secret Life of Bees

I read and loved the book first which is always risky.  In fact, that is why I put off the viewing of this movie even though there were lots of reasons, including interesting actors and good trailer,  that I really wanted to see it.  Having the book ruined was too risky.  This was one of those cases where I wasn't disappointed.

Dakota Fanning did a terrific job as Lily.  I expected as much, as she pretty much always does terrific acting work.  Alicia Keys, as June, was a surprise for me.  I didn't know she acted and didn't even recognize her until I saw her name in the credits.  She is stunningly beautiful.  The actress that played May, Sophie Okonedo, stole every scene she was in, though I must confess that May is my favorite character and I secretly (until now) suspect that I am most like her.  Jennifer Hudson was on American Idol back in the day when I used to watch and I love her.  I have never gotten around to seeing the movie that won her an Oscar, so I was anxious to see her a Rosaleen, who in my opinion is the backbone of this story.  She did not disappoint.  This was filmed pre-Weight Watchers and for the record she was beautiful before she was skinny.

My one real disappointment was August.  I am a fan of Queen Latifah.  I have seen and enjoyed Last Holiday more that one time. I was hopeful that she would be a good fit in this role.  To be fair, she wasn't bad.  If I hadn't read the book I might have even thought she was good.  It was just that I had picture August as a "deep water" kind of person and Queen Latifah is more a "what you see is what you get" kind of person and the two just did sit right together for me here.

What to know before viewing

1) Paul Bethany was a surprise as the abusive T-Ray but he pulled it off with aplomb.  I would step across the street if I saw him coming now.

2)  I watched the director's cut edition.  I have no idea how this colored my thinking about the film.

3) The book is still better.  I think Sue Monk Kid has a classic on her hands.

What about the kids?

PG-13 for a reason.  I wouldn't let a sensitive kid of any age see this.  This is the stuff of my nightmares as a kid.

Currently available on Netflix Instant Viewing and here.

Four and a Half Stars - "Really Liked It" plus

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this movie, but I agree that the book is better.