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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Movie Review -- Bee Season
That's right, coffeehauzers, you get your reviews here before the movie comes out! Or at least this time you do. Caught a sneak preview of Bee Season tonight - based on Myla Goldberg's acclaimed novel. I haven't read the book, so no comparisons here.

The movie is about a little girl with a spiritual relationship to letters. I know, I know - not that old chestnut again. Actually, it's about her relationship with her family, especially her father, and with God. When her father, a religion professor at Berkeley, learns that she is a spelling champion, he becomes obsessed with helping her win - and commune with the Lord. You see, he wrote his thesis on Kabbalah (No Madonna stuff here - he's hardcore), specifically about the power of letters to connect to the spirit of God. So, instead of just breaking out the dictionary and tearing through it, he tells her to do things such as "think of everything in the world that begins with the letter E." And he has her hum letters as if they were mantras.

Meanwhile, her brother, who Father has neglected while he fixates on her, is humming some mantras of his own. He's secretly been wooed by a Hare Krishna (played by Kate Bosworth, so can you blame him?) and he's joining up. Oh, and did I mention Mom's a kleptomaniac? Except instead of having an uncontrollable urge to shoplift, she gets her jollies from breaking and entering.

Actually, neither she nor anyone else in this film is particularly jolly. More like melancholy, baby. The movie is filmed beautifully, often evoking a dreamlike state to convey, well, I'm not sure what, but I liked it.

I liked the movie, but I got the feeling I would have appreciated it more if I had read the book. And I don't love that about movies based on books. I'd prefer a movie that can stand on its own. But the movie is so unique - I guarantee you won't see anything else like it anytime soon - and the performances so good that I'd recommend it.

Other Reviews:

Movie Review -- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Movie Review -- The Dinner Game

The book is very interesting. I can see they made some key changes in adapting it to screen. I guess I'm not sure I want to see the movie, because I did enjoy the book.

Also, I've never been impressed with Richard Gere as an actor. The role of the father is essential and, boy, Gere is the last person I would have pictured in the part. He does OK though?
Thanks for the recommendation! I'll be sure to check it out when it comes out..
I wa ssurprised, too - Gere was great -very understated. There's no real "Oscar" moments, so i don't think he'll be nominated, but it was that kind of caliber, I think.

Then again I was pretty tired.

Also, for some reason he dropped to the ground and started doing push-ups and yelling "I got no place else to go!" at no one in particular.
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