Couch Potato Pickings | The Secret Life of Bees, and 10 not-so-secret reasons to check it out


This movie is as syrupy as the honey produced by the bees of its title. However, I think it’s still worth a watch for the following reasons:

1. It’s set in the racially prejudiced South Carolina of the 1960s, yet it portrays today’s level of interracial harmony between its lead characters. Many find this historically inaccurate and misleading, but I think it works as an idealistic fairytale beautifully.

2. The film is based on a bestselling novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

3. It stars annoying child star Dakota Fanning, but she’s no longer a child in this movie and therefore no longer annoying.

4.  Dakota’s character – teen runaway Lily  – is taken in by a trio of fiercely independent beekeeping sisters, brilliantly played by Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Sophie Okenedo.

5. For me, singer Jennifer Hudson proves herself as an actress in this movie more than any other, playing Lily’s friend and housekeeper Rosaleen. Where would be without American Idol, eh?

6. The film oozes the sights, sounds and culture of the American South, and even includes a ‘kneeling on grits‘ child cruelty scene.

7. The film stresses the importance of birds and of bees. While the independent sisters doing it for themselves storyline is both moving and inspiring, those honey-producing insects also play a huge part – in the film, and in life. They not only provide an important plot development hook, but they also are essential for pollinating plants that provide us with food. Without bees we’d all be in deep trouble, and those grits, mentioned above, would be pretty much all we’d have left to eat.

8. This movie is produced by husband and wife duo Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

9. The movie’s warm and golden honey tones linger in the memory, as does the striking image of the sisters’ house – ‘the colour of Pepto Bismol’.

10. I was moved to tears – what better sign is there that a movie has pulled you into its world?

The Secret Life of Bees is showing on Sky Movies Premiere today, 8th January, at 5.30pm, and at various times throughout the week.

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