Richard Gere stars in this gripping tale about a father obsessed with training his talented daughter for the National Spelling Bee competition. Eliza Naumann (Flora Cross) demonstrates an amazing gift that her father Saul (Richard Gere) insists on coaching her himself. But as Eliza's success continues, Saul's newfound devotion grows... causing huge changes for the entire family.
Not what it seems.
- Bee Season review by Shatner's Bassoon
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Saul is a Jewish professor of kabbalah studies who is preoccupied with his work, his kleptomaniac wife Miriam spends her days breaking into other people's houses, and the family's eldest son Aaron has always been the center of attention, that's until daughter Eliza unexpectedly wins her school spelling bee. It seems Eliza is a gifted speller who can actually see the words as she spells them, and the family dynamic soon changes as Saul devotes all of his time and energy in coaching Eliza for the next spelling bee, all the while ignoring the fact that his relationship with both Miriam and Aaron is falling apart. On the surface 'Bee Season' presents itself as a film about a spelling bee, but in reality it's a film heavily about religion, how four members of a Jewish family individually attempt to connect with God and how these actions rip them apart and then bring them together. Personally I found 'Bee Season' unbearably schmaltzy with far too many heavy handed contrived emotional moments and at times it felt like you were watching a feature length kabbalah commercial. The actors try and do their best with a bland script, but overall it's pretty dull stuff.