If it sounds confusing, itís because it is. The film is very convoluted with mixed messages and religious ideas and theories that are never fully explored. Also, the characters get from A to b to C in lightening speed. The audience never has a chance to get emotionally involved in any of the four family members and therefore weíre left confused at the end of the film as to what, if anything the movie accomplished.
The performances were on par from what you expect from the likes of Richard Gere and Juliette Binoche. They always do their roles justice, even if I donít always like the roles they choose. But take a good look at Flora Cross smiling on the cover because thatís the only time youíll see her exert any facial expression in the film. The most confusing character was in fact Juliette Binocheís because I never understood why she ended up in the situation and state she ended up in.
Although the movie deals with religion, it isnít ďpreachyĒ by any means, but religion was crammed down our throats. There was an underlying metaphor of religion to spelling that was pampered throughout the film but it just plain didnít work. I was happy the film didnít push any one particular religion, but then again, it didnít really take the time to focus on any one belief. The film tried to say too much and in the end, didnít say anything at all.
Commentary by Albert Berger and Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal: Ms. Gyllenhaal nailed it right on the head in this commentary when she talked about how difficult it was to balance so many spiritual journeys in one film. Personally, after hearing her talk, I think she should have directed the film because I can tell she read the book. Overall, this commentary is really good and is enjoyable if you liked the film or not.
Deleted Scenes (6:25): The movie was a little slow to begin with and many of these scenes served no purpose. I was also frustrated because many of these ďdeleted scenesĒ were one or two lines cut out from scenes from the movie.
Making of Bee Season (5:30): This is a featurette on what the actors thought about the movie. Itís better than your standard fluff piece, but not by much. What you need to know is that Richard Gere learned how to play the violin for the role and that Max Minghella has a very thick British accent that he curbed for the movie.
The Cutting Room Floor (3:44): This is a simple montage of deleted moments from the film. I typically like these montages and itís a nice way of including stuff that isnít long enough to be considered a full scene. If you look closely, you can actually see Flora Cross smile.
The Essence of Bee Season (6:24): We get some professors talking about the deeper meaning of BEE SEASON. I question whether theyíre talking about the movie or the book. They explain it well enough, but I didnít see what theyíre talking about in the film. This could help you if you were confused with the movie.
There are also some Trailers.