Bee Season

Less audacious than McGehee and Siegel’s spectacularly  fine debut ‘Suture’, this also comes across, for its first half-hour, as more conventional than ‘Deep End’, and not unlike a fictionalised reworking of ‘Spellbound’: happy family fare, smiling as a young girl (Cross) climbs from school bee upwards. Mercifully, by the time the state competition’s looming, her ambitious teacher father (Gere), dreaming of raising another rare Jewish mystic; her haunted scientist mother (Binoche); and her elder brother (Minghella) are drifting dramatically apart, fuelled by the child’s success and by their own needs, specifically in terms of belief systems. Shadowed by memories of ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Three Colours: Blue’, Binoche’s character is underwritten and least well served, notwithstanding a fine performance; the other actors are likewise good, but confounded by this very ambitious, imaginative and perceptive film never finally managing to tie its many intriguing threads into a fully satisfying whole. Better than most recent US fare, however.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday January 27 2006
Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
Screenwriter: Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal
Cast: Richard Gere
Juliette Binoche
Flora Cross
Max Minghella
Kate Bosworth
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