The Secret Lives of Bees

First Hit: This was a very touching film. It may have been idealized, however the acting and the overall subject, of being loved, accepted, and civil rights made this a winner.

I really liked this film. I was very touched by the characters.

The premise is that a young 4 year-old girl, Lily Owens (played by Dakota Fanning), participates in a traumatic event and from that event she gets caught into an abusive life with her controlling father (played by Paul Bettany).

Lily’s mother is gone and she feels alone and unloved. One day she and her nanny, Rosaleen (played by Jennifer Hudson), are walking into town so that Rosaleen can register to vote but are stopped and beat up by some very racist men. Lily breaks Rosaleen out of the jail/hospital and heads off to Tiburon a very small country town where there is a family that makes honey.

Lily picks this town because on one of the few possessions she has of her mother, there is a picture of a black Madonna and on the back it says “Tiburon”.

The home where the honey is made is run by August (played by Queen Latifah), May (played Sophie Okonedo), and June (played by Alicia Keys). May lost her twin sister and now feels the pain of everyone else (and the world). August is in charge of making the honey and June is a musician.

This group of women takes in Lily and Rosaleen and from their love and healing everyone grows.

This was a very special story. Fanning is growing into womanhood and in this role you know she is making the transition from child actor to grown up actress in a strong and powerful way. Hudson is wonderful as a young black woman wanting to exercise her right to vote and as Fanning’s nanny and friend. Latifah is great as the head of the household and keeps the film on an even keel. Keys is strong in her role as a woman who is afraid to love and commitment. However, I was truly and deeply touched by Okonedo in her role. I totally believed her and felt with her during the film.

Overall: I cried often during this film. It was touching and never when too far in any one direction.