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Rated PG-13 · 104 minutes · 2005

Sixth-grader Eliza Naumann (Flora Cross) lives with her parents (Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche) and favored older brother Aaron (Max Minghella) in the Oakland hills. With its burnished wood walls, the home stands for solidity and gravity: Here is a serious family engaged in noble pursuits. But that image unravels soon enough. Family dynamics begin to shift when Eliza, a shy girl who knows her place, reveals a talent for spelling. Once father Saul gets wind of her gift, he takes her into his office for lessons, brushing aside Aaron and his violin. Saul is a student of ancient Jewish mysticism, and he uses it to teach Eliza to divine orthography. He promotes the mystical idea of mending the shattered vessels of the world; meanwhile he drives his family to pieces. Based on the best-selling novel by Myla Goldberg, Bee Season is largely a mistake of an adaptation, burdened with miscasting (Gere, a Jew?) and with such obsessively belabored metaphors that it's likely to turn people against the idea of healing altogether.
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Director: David Siegel and Scott McGehee
Writer: Myla Goldberg and Naomi Foner
Producer: Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Richard Gere, Max Minghella, Kate Bosworth and Flora Cross


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