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To escape her lonely life and troubled relationship with her father, Lily flees with Rosaleen, her caregiver and only friend, to a South Carolina town that holds the secret to her mother's past.
In the first scene, a woman in a dress wanders around a room and goes back and forth in a closet. A marble rolls on the ground and a little girl is playing with a young clear glass shooter marble and a mirror. The mother (Deborah Owens played by Hilarie Burton) is taking clothes from the closet and putting them into a suitcase. The woman reaches for a gun in the closet and points it at the man, telling him that she just wants to go. The box contains her mother’s gloves, a small photograph of her mother, and a scrap of wood with a picture of Virgin Mary on it. Lily puts on her mother’s gloves, partially unbuttons her blouse and holds the photograph close to her stomach. Hurriedly, Lily takes off the gloves and slips the items back into the box and starts to bury it. Her father sits in a chair nearby while watching her and drinking a beer.The next morning, Rosaleen, their negro housekeeper is shown sweeping up the grits. As T.Ray walks into the room, Rosaleen states that she is going to take Lily into town to buy her a training bra.
On TV they all see that the civil rights bill was passed.When Rosaleen and Lily start to walk downtown, they are comfronted by four racists who call Rosaleen some bad names, and in return, Rosaleen pours her jar of spit on their feet. He then looks down to see a roach crawling across the ground, and steps on it.Lily still demands to know more about her and her father replies that she left and when she came back, she got all of her stuff but she wanted to leave Lily behind. Rosaleen and her run away to a town where Lily’s mother was thought to have once lived in. Instead they find a honey jar with the same picture of the Virgin Mary as was on the slab of wood that Lily retained. When they ask the storeowner who made this honey, he leads them to the negro house of August Boatwright and her sisters, May and June. He then gives August permission to take care of Lily for as long as she wanted to stay there.
Bartlett) Charles Bibbs known as creator: Black Madonna artwork Chuck Bitting known as propmaker (as Charles Bitting) Tracy Breyfogle known as art department production assistant (as Tracey Breyfogle) John Bromell known as set dresser (as John T. Bromell) Danielle Couture known as art department coordinator Peter Durand known as scenic painter Thurston Edwards known as buyer Craig Gilmore known as illustrator George W. Harding III known as key greens (as George Harding III) Carl Hector known as greensman (as Carl F. Shepard known as paint gang boss Bob Smith known as set dresser Greg Spencer known as foreman (as Greg W. Ward known as assistant art director (as Mike Ward) Ernie Watson known as propmaker John Weeks known as sculptor Eric West known as set dresser (as Eric B. In this town, they find refuge with the Boatwright sisters (QueenLatifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo), who take them in on thestrength of a story concocted by Lily.

Through their cultured world,filled with beekeeping, a lucrative honey business, religious beliefsand love, Lily finds the security she has longed for and finds theanswers to questions that haunted her for years.The director (Prince-Brythewood) did a great job at making us careabout the characters, even the miserable father played excellently byPaul Bettany. Alicia Keys shows that some R&B singers can actuallyperform well in a movie, playing the snooty June Boatwright. However,the best performances has to be between Fanning and Okonedo, who playedthe gentle, simple minded, manic depressive May Boatwright. It dragged for a good portion of the firstthirty minutes as we watch Lily and Rosaleen mill about, doing mundanethings in their pitiful lives. And the filmmakers couldn't resist being a bit schmaltzy onoccasion, making most of it play like a good after school special withnothing beyond two dimensionality.
Normally I like to read thebook before seeing a movie, as usually the book is so much better. Lily Owens (played with open-eyed honestly byDakota Fanning) is raised in a loveless home by her cruel, distantfather.
Whenher only friend, their black maid Rosaleen, is assaulted in a racistincident, the girls are forced to go on the run.Lily and Rosaleen end up on the doorstep of the Boatwrights, the blacksisters who own a successful honey farm.
Lily concocts an elaborate lieto persuade the maternal August Boatwright (played with warm dignity byQueen Latifah) to temporarily take them in. They are met with someresistance from the guarded June (Alicia Keys), a classical cellist andcivil rights activist.
But they are welcomed enthusiastically by theopen-hearted May (played with touching vulnerability by SophieOkonedo). They soon find that hyper-sensitive May is moved to tears bythe mention of anything sad.August teaches Lily how to tend the bees, and May whole heartedlyembraces both girls. ButLily still needs to find the truth of why her mother left her.This is a coming of age story and parable about how to cope with thepainful truth and find forgiveness. Having not read Sue Monk Kidd'snovel, I was expecting a sappy, soulless, chick flick that would haveme rolling my eyes for a couple of hours. Lily and her nanny Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) runoff tosome small town dot on a map thanks to a clue Lily's mom left on one ofher few remaining personal items. The performances are allvery strong but three standouts are Dakota Fanning, Paul Bettany andSophie Okonedo.Ms. She strikes meas a young Jodie Foster … one who has just transitioned from childactor to real actress. Bettany is such a shock here as he typically plays a well dressed,under-spoken Brit (which is what he is in real life!). As a southernredneck whose bitterness rages against the world, he not only pulls itoff, but manages to make grits seem even worse than I previouslythought.
Amost touching performance from a top notch talent.This is a good story with strong performances, though to take the nextstep as a film, it needed to dig a little deeper into its wide range ofcharacters and settings.
The emotional and visual scopeoffered by the story, the cinematography, and the acting, gave allviewers with eyes to see and ears to hear, a wonderful treat. A reminder of the racism of a not toofar distant time, and the timeless theme of love, death, friendship,and compassion, add the effective seasoning that helps us all relate insome very tangible way to this movie.

After a summerof superheroes and sex humor comedies, this was the most life affirmingand refreshing film I've seen so far this year.
You needed to both hate him, andsympathize with him for the role to be effective, and I thought hepulled this off well. Alicia Keyes waswonderful,Queen was the pillar of strength, Hudson proved that herOscar wasn't a fluke,but most importantly you are able to watch a cuteand charming little girl actress give a phenomenal mature performanceworthy of Oscar consideration.
It does have a few slow moments,but thefilm is intriguing in a way that made you desire to see more.Absolutelysome of the most beautiful cinematic shots. And of course this allowsopportunity for some serious girl power bonding between the charactersas they find that they have a lot more in common, as well as thesharing and spreading of love through their ranks.The trump card that this movie has, is the excellent performances bythe ensemble cast. Fanning leads the pack and gives a wonderful movingperformance as the gangling Lily, who thinks that she's quite a jinxwith plenty of bad karma to go around, bringing about unfortunatehappenings to her hosts which provide the dramatic twists and turns towhat would otherwise be a flat movie.
Jennifer Hudson had much to do inthe first act, though her character got quite muted by the time thetrio of the Boatwright sisters August (Latifah), June (Keys) andOkonedo (May) come along.
Queen Latifah brings about some seriousgravitas in her role as the eldest with the largest heart, and youcannot deny her chemistry with Fanning. Keys on the other hand playsthe sister the exact opposite of August, being aloof and starting offwith intense suspicion as to the intent of their guests.
Definitely recommended!Replysonya90028 from United States30 Mar 2012, 3:23 pmThe Secret Life Of Bees, is a marvelous new drama. It's focus is13-year-old Lily Owens (played with a deft emotional range, by DakotaFanning). The film takes place in 1964 in the southern US, during thebirth of the civil rights movement.Lily is haunted by the fact that she accidentally shot her mother, whenplaying with a pistol as a toddler.
Racist white men confront them, taunting Rosaleen.When Rosaleen refuses to tolerate their behavior, the men give her avicious beating. Rosaleen is arrested, andheld in custody at the medical ward of the local jail.Outraged at what happened to Rosaleen, Lily goes to the jail and freesRosaleen, before the guards find out. Intrigued with theunusual labeling on the honey jars, Lily asks the clerk where the honeycomes from. Films with strong, positivewomen in leading roles, are still not as common as they should be.
Set in South Carolina 1964, Lily Owens (DakotaFanning) who is haunted by the memory of her late mother, tries toescape her lonely life and bad relationship with her father (PaulBettany), to get past her horrible incident with her late mother. So,she and her caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) flees to a SouthCarolina town where it holds the secret of her mother's past. Dakota Fanning and Sophie Okenendo are the ones that deliversthe Oscar-worthy performances.

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