Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bee Season


I don't know if Bee Season was a good book, but the movie is pretty mediocre. Bee Season is based on the book (with the same title) by Myla Goldberg.

I'm sure the movie left a lot of stuff out from the book, because that's typical, and this movie seemed to be hinting at characters and storylines that were greater than what the film was able to offer.

The movie deals with a family's multi-faceted problems that begin spiraling out of control at the same time the youngest member of the family discovers an amazing ability to spell and succeeds in many levels of the national spelling bee. The film stars Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche as the parents.

The young girl who plays the spelling-bee-daughter is phenomonal. The actresses name is Flora Cross and could easily play the daughter of Juliette Binoche in any movie, they look very similar.
Spiritual searching plays a large part in this film, in fact, I would say that's the motif of this film, particularly grounded in Richard Gere's knowledge and fascination with Jewish mysticism and the Kabbalah. I was curious about Goldberg's faith and was curious if there was a purposeful agenda she was pushing, and really, I don't think she was, especially after reading some of the interview here. Although Goldberg grew up in a Jewish household she learned about Jewish mysticism in a college course and had very little background in eastern religions (which play a role midway through the film).

This film is worth skipping unless you are highly curious about films that explore religious topics, or if you've got nothing better to do.

Interesting fact: The Screenplay, while not that great was written by Naomi Foner, the mother of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.

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5 comments:

Kelly said...

Something good was definitely going on in the book. I'm going to have to give the movie a viewing.

[I already feel as though Richard Gere is going to not represent the father in the light Goldberg offers, which would take much away from the story.]

P said...

The film is pretty mediocre but it is rare to see a family movie with a spiritual searching theme. And I'm with you about Flora Cross - she's phenomenal. I'm just thankful it's not another role Dakota Fanning got.

RC said...

I think Dakota Fanning was supposed to have the part, but they went with Flora Cross because she looked so similar to Binoche.

Kamikaze Camel said...

that is true rc.

I saw this movie a few weeks ago. Not bad but not good either. Just... there. It could've been better. But 1 hour and 40 minutes isn't enought to discuss what it wanted to discuss. Plus, what it was discussing wasn't very interesting so maybe 1 hour 40 minutes was a good thing.

I was sad as The Deep End was phenomenal (same directors y'all)

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