It's not every day that the film adaptation of a well-loved book appears to capture the same atmosphere and sentiments that the book does, but in my opinion, the trailer for The Secret Life of Bees looks like it might do just that. I loved the novel by Sue Monk Kidd; it was one of those books that left me feeling sad at the end because I had to part with characters I'd come to care about deeply.
The story follows 14-year-old Lily (Dakota Fanning) whose mother died, leaving Lily with an abusive father. Together with her caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), Lily runs away from her father, and the two wind up at a pink house and under the protection of four smart, strong, beekeeping sisters.
The trailer does seem to veer into sappiness a few times, but is just grounded enough to avoid looking like a Lifetime TV movie. Queen Latifah has a solid, maternal way about her in this role, which is refreshing, and it's really great to see Dakota Fanning playing an older character. Alicia Keys has a good presence onscreen, and I may be most excited to see Sophie Okonedo (who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Hotel Rwanda), whom I find absolutely mesmerizing every time I see her in another movie.
The Secret Life of Bees opens October 17. To see what I'm talking about,