We Seek After
These Things
Recently returned from serving the people of Honduras for 3 years

Monday, November 3, 2008

Secret Life of Bees

Our book club decided this month to do something a little out of the ordinary for us. The book we were focusing on for the month was "Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. Rather than gathering for the usual luncheon and book discussion at one of our homes, we decided we would travel to the theater together and watch the movie as we were all eagerly anticipating the opening of "Secret Life of Bees" in the movie theater. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the book except me! I just couldn't really get interested in it. So after reading about 100 pages I put it down for a while and decided I'd come back to it later.

Along came our movie day - and we all stood in line, bought our tickets, bought our popcorn and drinks, and took our seats right in the middle of the theater. It was a great escape to get away from home in the middle of the day with a bunch of girlfriends. I would have watched almost anything actually!

The movie begins like the book with a short mildly violent scene, Lily then age 4 supposedly shoots her mother while trying to protect her from an abusive husband. Then quickly zooms forward to where Lily, played by Dakota Fanning (can she really be playing someone who is 14 already?) lives with a mean, abusive, drunk peach farmer father played by Paul Bettany. Eventually Lily escapes, and runs away with her black Nanny Rosaleen, played by Jennifer Hudson. (Are you seeing this all star cast here? Wait there's more!) Their destination is Tiburon, a small country town Lily only knows about from some old keepsakes of her mothers that she had kept buried in the orchard back home. Lily has a photo of a black madonna type woman that was associated in someway in the past with her mother, and Lily wants more than anything to learn about her mother, who she always fantasized as being the most perfect and beautiful of mothers.

I won't spoil the rest of the movie for you, but want to say that I enjoyed the movie immensely. Enough to inspire me to come back home, pick up the book and finish the book in just a matter of hours. It's funny what visual stimulation can do sometimes. I found the movie to be a warm, 'wrap you all up in your favorite quilt', therapeutic type of movie. You may need a box of tissues if you're like me. Queen Latifah plays Miss August, the queen bee, worker bee and mother bee all wrapped into one character, wonderfully. While Alica Keyes plays her cello playing, political activist sister, June. Visually, I thought the movie was a delight, colorful and warm with beautiful backdrops of the south mid 1960's. You get caught up in the racial aspects of the times, yet the sisters who live in a pink victorian house manage to provide the loving, nurturing environment that Lily is so desparately seeking.

While Miss August does occasionally talk of the bees with Lily, once I completed reading the book, I felt like the movie goers don't really comprehend the same 'beekeeping' life similies and metaphors that the book is so filled with. Also the movie really can't include all the wonderful and classic quotes from many of the characters that are revealed in the book.

So overall, I just have to recommend that you read this book and go see the movie too. I highly recommend them both. Especially if you're a fan of any of the cast members, they do play their characters marvelously.


Kevin and HolliJo said...

I just finished that book about two weeks ago! I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. Because, I agree, a movie never does the book justice. I liked it thoughand am looking forward to seeing the movie!
- HolliJo

Cami said...

We listened to this book on our way to San Francisco and I really liked it. I think it helped to have it read to me though. I have been wanting to see this movie so I'm glad that it didn't dissapoint.
Thanks for taking our pictures. If you are in AF anytime soon, could you drop them off. If not, maybe I;ll try to come out and get the CD. Will you be home tonight?

Jackie said...

I actually have been wondering about this movie/book for a while now. Thanks, now I want to check it out.

Have you read Inkheart? It's coming out as a movie this December. I liked it!

greg_nichole said...

I read that book a year or two ago. I can't wait to see the movie. How fun that you have a book club!

The Alexanders said...

thanks, mom! cami and dustin are wonderful! we went to their reception a few years back (the same day we returned from another trip to argentina) so i'm sure we met you there. thanks for following our blog! we'll be sure to make it good!

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