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USA: Fox Searchlight
UK: Twentieth Century Fox
Cast: Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Flora Cross, Max Minghella, Kate Bosworth, Corey Fischer, Sam Zuckerman, Joan Mankin, Piers MacKenzie, Lorri Holt, Brian Leonard, Jamal Thornes, Kathy McGraw, John Evans, Alisha Mullally, John R Searle, Seamus Genovese, Andrew Murray, Tiger, Dick Martin, Olivia Charles, Sujata Balu, Steven Anthony Jones, David Ryan Smith, Velina Brown, Robyn Blair, Justin Alioto, Alex Keel, Justin Ping Yuan, Anthony Ybarra, Ben Johnson, Taylor Kane, Derek Wong, Sophie Tamiko Oda, Anand Zala, Samuel Richman, Shawn Smith, Mickey Boxell, Maya Ramchandran, Neil Chalaka, Gaayatri Kaundinya, Charlotte Musengwa, Nikil Balakrishnan, Isaiah Aglibot Bryant, Alison Doyle, Emily Trumble, Nathan Calixto, Simon M Ehrlich, Nick Taber, Gautam Krishnamurthi, Corey Rateau, Patricia R Floyd, Timothy Gulan, Betsy Hogg, Jennifer Perito, Kristin Reeves, Rose Stockton, Marlon Suson, Michael Tommer, Arden Winant, Bruce Winant, Vanessa Lemonides, Dann Fink
Directors: Scott McGehee, David Siegel
USA & UK: 105 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for thematic elements, a scene of sensuality and brief strong language
UK Certificate: 12A contains strong language
USA Release Date: 11 November 2005 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 27 January 2006
Eliza Naumann spells words. Lots of words. Hard words. Long words. And with an effortlessness and understanding that surprises everyone around her. Her teachers, her fellow students. But especially those closest to her: her father, mother and brother. The people whose lives Eliza's newfound genius will irrevocably change. BEE SEASON is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a modern American family whose picture-perfect surface conceals an underlying world of secret turmoil.
As Eliza Naumann (Flora Cross) trains for the ultimate test of her spelling powers - the pressure-packed National Spelling Bee in Washington D.C - her family simultaneously begins to fall apart. Indeed the more amazing the words are that Eliza learns to spell, the more communication seems to break down all around her. Her father Saul (Richard Gere), a religious studies professor, sees something transcendent in Eliza's magical gift, and begins to teach her the secrets of Kabbalah. He becomes obsessed with her victories, living vicariously through her path to God.
Her mother Miriam (Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche) finds Eliza and Saul's shared focus a painful reminder of the connection she once had with her husband and her own parents, who died tragically when she was a young girl. Meanwhile, Eliza's older brother Aaron (Max Minghella), once his father's favorite, rebels against his withdrawal of affection, experimenting with other religions, and eventually seeking out a connection with a beautiful Hare Krishna (Kate Bosworth). With her family disintegrating before her young eyes, it's up to Eliza - and an unexpected act of selflessness and love - to put the broken pieces of her world back together.
The film is the third feature from directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, who previously won critical acclaim with the intense psychological thrillers THE DEEP END and SUTURE. The screenplay, based on the bestselling novel by Myla Goldberg, is by Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (LOSING ISAIAH, RUNNING ON EMPTY).
BEE SEASON stars Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Kate Bosworth and introduces two promising newcomers in their first major films roles: Max Minghella and Flora Cross as Aaron and Eliza Naumann.