Kidda€™s novel is a beguiling work, suffused in the sultry heat of a South Carolina summer in the early 1960s, even as it addresses harsh themes of violent racism, child abuse and terrible loss. As will now have become clear, ita€™s a tale full of symbolism a€” but where this worked effectively in Kidda€™s novel, lending a fairy-tale feel to the piece, therea€™s a clunkiness to it here.
But rather than give her cast the chance to act, to make these people live, too often Prince-Blythewood cuts abruptly to another montage set to another insipid MOR ballad, sacrificing subtlety to blunt sentiment. The source material remains affecting and the cast work hard to add dimension to a lacklustre screenplay. Living with a bitter and abusive father and consumed by the knowledge that she killed her mother, Lily's life is lonely and sometimes painful. The book is set in South Corolina in 1964 when struggles for equal rights between black and white were raw and often deadly. The main characters are Lily (the narrator), The beekeeping Boatwright sisters and Rosaleen. Sue Monk Kidd describes the gorgeous South Corolina scenery so clearly you will feel like you are there.


Watch the trailer to the movie due to be released in New Zealand early 2009 on foxsearchlight. Haunted by the death of her mother, 14 year-old Lily (Fanning) seeks solace with her housekeeper Rosaleen (Hudson).
Adapted by Prince-Blythewood from Sue Monk Kidda€™s acclaimed 2002 novel and with a talented cast, this is certainly a film youa€™d have confidence in. The volatility stirred up by the Civil Rights Act on July 2, 1964, steers the story arc, as 14 year-old Lily (here played by Dakota Fanning) and confidante Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson) find themselves on the run after an ugly clash between the latter and a collection of white bigots, finding safety in the home of a family of black sisters, the Boatwrights a€” an eccentric, inspiring bunch who operate as a self-supporting unit as harmonious as the beehives from which they derive their living. Ita€™s a pity, as what could have been a thoughtful interweaving of two stories a€” the wider social moment when Americaa€™s black population started to emerge, and one little girla€™s painful struggle to find herself and her place a€” instead plays like a Movie Of The Week. 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. She carries the weight of the world injustices on her shoulders, which I think we can all relate to in some way.
Having recently seen to movie I was not surprised to see that it was almost identical to how I saw it in my head.


Ita€™s just a shame, then, that it seems confidence is one thing Prince-Blythewood found wanting when it came to actually making her movie. Queen Latifah in particular is underused, her matriarchal August given little to do except smile beatifically while dispensing doses of homespun wisdom a€” washed down with a spoonful of honey, of course. Taken in by the intelligent and independent Boatwright sisters, Lily finds solace in their mesmerizing world of beekeeping. May it remind all of us of the strength and power that friendships between women can cultivate.



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