Haunted by memories of her late mother, a teen (Dakota Fanning) finds comfort with three sisters who teach her about beekeeping, honey, and the Black Madonna.
" As for Fanning, she continues to prove herself a natural who can handle anything thrown her way. It's worth wondering, though, if she should have to. "
" A wonderful film about family, independence and the transcendent power of love, The Secret Life of Bees brims with honest emotion without spilling over into cheap sentimentality. "
" It's hard to roll your eyes when they're full of tears. "
" Okonedo is at times heartbreakingly good as May, who carries a deep well of pain inside her; Keys is nicely fiery as June, who takes time to warm up to the visitors. "
" Prince-Bythewood makes you care about the characters and hope they live happily ever after. "
" Quite a bit of honey is applied to make the awful truths palatable, but The Secret Life of Bees curtails the sappiness with performances -- especially Fanning's -- that are grounded in reality. "
" The film is full of sweet, subtle touches. "
" The filmmakers give Latifah and Fanning room to create characters that breathe in the sweet smell of clover and breathe out the contented sigh of independence. "
" The Secret Life of Bees is a deeply felt, well-intentioned film about race and reverence in the summer of '64. Like the ambrosia at the center of the plot, it moves slowly and tastes sweet. "
" There's a purity, clarity and honesty to this feminist heart-warmer's melodramatic instincts that make it surprisingly moving and satisfying. "
" Those who were moved by the book are likely to find this adaptation affecting and emotionally satisfying. "
" Through it all, Fanning more than keeps up with the big girls. "
" None of this, as you might guess, is shot through a glass darkly. "
" Price-Bythewood has encouraged fairly broad performances from these formidable actresses for characters who aren't terribly well developed in her script. "
" Sweat and good intentions, however, will take you only so far. And they take Bees right up to the threshold of entertaining%u2014but not one step further. "
" The honey runs thick in The Secret Life of Bees, and so does the treacle. "
" This is woefully familiar material, and Prince-Bythewood overdirects the film, draining it of the messiness of real life in favor of a syrupy sweetness that threatens to drown you. "
" What's being sold here is the movie equivalent of the honey-drenched sweet potato biscuits that are forever being passed around on-screen. Their nutritional value may be nil, but they sure look comforting. "
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