The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees ★★★½

Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, and especially Gina Prince-Bythewood are all working their butts off to shade in a story that probably didn’t have that much depth to begin with, channeling empathy when you could have easily gone the more patronizing route and shot for straight sympathy. It never really recovers from centering on a white protagonist and paralleling their trauma to that of the civil rights movement, but having a person of color behind the camera does give this an edge over fare like The Help or Green Book simply by having all discussions on race, no matter how shallow, be based on the notion of understanding and not on pity or guilt. Could’ve used more bees though, I’m not sure what their whole deal was.

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