Bee Season

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

Based on the bestselling novel by Myla Goldberg, this drama centers around the Naumanns, who appear to be the perfect family. Saul and Miriam (Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche) are religious parents who sincerely seek God. He teaches a religion class, and she is the perfect homemaker and mother. Aaron (Max Minghella), their well-mannered, teenage son is studying the Hebrew language out of a love for his dad. Motivated by Sauls enthusiasm, each family member also wants to reach the ear of God and find the light through a mystical connection of Hebrew words. Eleven-year-old Eliza (Flora Cross) has been quietly competing in Spelling Bee contests and has advanced to district level, causing Saul to shift his attention from Aaron to Eliza and to help her win the Nationals. This throws Miriam, Aaron and the Naumann family into a downward spiral. In the end, Eliza makes a decision that she feels will make things right again.

The children are excellent role models in their respect and love for their parents. The one spat that Aaron has with his father has to do with him joining the Hare Krishnas in his endeavor to find God. In another scene, he is consoling and hugging his dad. He and Eliza have a wonderful relationship. There is nothing sexual between Aaron and Chali (Kate Bosworth). The parents are also good role models for the most part. The negative rating is due to the foul language in one scene, several sex scenes between the parents, and the non-Christian emphasis on reaching God through meditation and chanting. Eliza was encouraged to do this by her father who sees the potential in her to achieve what he cannot. In the end, Eliza is shown to have received the answer to setting the family back on course after having a bodily experience with the light, an element of mysticism and a power source other than God.

Preview Reviewer: Renee Borner
Fox Searchlight Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Few (2) times strong (f-word 2)

Profanity: Once strong (GD 1)

Violence: Few times mild (father and son yelling)

Sex: Several times mild (characters in bed, sensual kissing, partial undressing); moderate (couple in kitchen has sex with clothes on accompanied by panting and sounds of desperation, flashback of sex scene); strong (couple has sex nude in bed)

Nudity: Few times mild (topless woman with back to camera, nude man with genitals covered); moderate (uncovered buttocks, breasts from side view of couple in bed)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: Child mystically makes a connection with the light, which throws her body into convulsions and jerking motions; a bird tells a child the correct spelling of a word

Running Time: 104 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults and Teens

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