Amazon Holiday

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Secret Life of Bees

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: In 1964, a teenage girl (Dakota Fanning) runs away from home with her Black nanny (Jennifer Hudson), to follow a path that she hopes will lead to learning more about her dead mother. During these racially charged times, these interracial friends are taken in by a family of Black women who make and sell honey.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Sophie Okonedo, Paul Bettany, Tristan Wilds, Hilarie Burton, Nate Parker

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! If you like culturally relevant dramas that explore the many shades of what it is to give and receive love, this is the one for you.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Here and there, it's very rare. Dramas just don't care. Laughter is meant to be shared.
(If you noticed that was a Haiku, You Are Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, and you should audition here:

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: Well, first off, there's a montage to a song called, "Beautiful," by India.Arie that always makes me cry-- so that's cheating. But before all is said and done, the film itself also manages to earn a few of your tears.

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Sophie Okonedo has a good chance of getting a nod for Best Supporting Actress, because she plays a somewhat mentally handicapped person. In fact, she has just the right amount of mental handicap to win an Oscar, if you follow the lore explained in Tropic Thunder-- which I do.

Q: How is the Acting?

A: How is Dakota Fanning a child actress? She's such a consummate professional that it's hard to imagine she's only 14. And watch-out world, she's growing up fast now, kissing boys on screen, and as soon as she starts wearing make-up, she's going to be as much of a knockout as Heather Locklear in the 80s. Jennifer Hudson and Alicia Keys are passable, but they don't quite hold their own next to Queen Latifah's strength and charisma, or Sophie Okonedo's conviction and depth of character.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Aside from a few pacing problems where things could've been tightened up, there's nothing particularly wrong with the directing, but at times it is all too clear how often the director has worked in television.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: Spike Lee could take some lessons from Gina Prince-Bythewood on how to confront racism in a manner that's relevant and compelling.

Q: Is there anything else worth mentioning about the movie?

A: You should know going in that Queen Latifah's character is supposed to be in her upper forties or lower fifties. Without that information, certain scenes may be confusing.

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