Bee Season

20th Century Fox Released 2005


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Movie Summary

Scott McGehee , David Siegel (II)
Bee Season is a complicated look at the family dynamic seen through the eyes of a young girl who has a special gift for spelling. Saul (Richard Gere) and Miriam (Juliette Binoche) Naumann seem to be on the surface, the heads of a happy, yet very traditionally Jewish household. They stress study of the Kaballah for their two children, Aaron, (Max Minghella) and Eliza (Flora Cross). Aaron and his father, a rather controlling and domineering patriarch, share a close relationship heavily based on their fondness for religious study, but when Eliza starts winning local spelling bees, the relationships change. Her remarkable talent seems rooted in an ability to hear and sense the words "talking to her." Saul begins to dedicate more time to his young daughter, realizing her inherent closeness with God. As the time passes, the seemingly stable family dynamic erodes away, and from Miriam's shoplifting problems to Aaron directing his study toward new religious doctrines, the Naumanns are exposed to be much more complicated and fragile. Scott McGehee and David Siegel direct this adaptation of a novel by Myla Goldberg, a touching and introspective examination of a traditional family dynamic.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    With the help of clear direction and some excellent acting, especially from Flora Cross in a memorable debut as Eliza, Bee Season is affecting in ways that movies have all but give...

  • 70

    The New York Times Manohla Dargis

    A serious film filled with both great and awkward ideas and made as much from the heart as the head.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    The film is ice cold, never finding a way to invite the viewer into the story, and Richard Gere doesn't convince as a Jewish biblical scholar.

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Documentary, Drama