Tell It To The Bees movie poster
Tell It To The Bees is a new lesbian drama movie starring Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger and based on Fiona Shaw’s best selling 2009 novel. It's directed by Annabel Jankel, with a screenplay by Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, who recently worked on season 2 of hit TV show Killing Eve.
The film is set in a small Scottish town in 1952. Paquin plays Dr Jean Markham, who returns to the home she was forced to leave years ago. She takes over her late father’s medical practice, moves into his large house, tends to the bee colonies in the yard and befriends Lydia Weekes (Holliday Grainger), the mother of Jean’s young patient Charlie (Gregor Selkirk).
After Lydia’s husband abandons her and she can't pay the rent, Jean lets Lydia and Charlie move in with her. Charlie only shares his secrets with the bees, except for the one that matters most - the friendship between Lydia and Jean has turned into a passionate love affair. Once the couple are outed, the homophobia and hate they endure from the locals threatens to destroy everything.
The movie debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in September last year and recently screened at the 2019 BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival.
Reviews have been mixed, with the chemistry between Paquin and Grainger a big plus, but the ending - which differs from that of the novel - causing some concern from critics and social media meltdowns from fans of the book. In an interview with Women and Hollywood, Jankel explained the choices she made for the ending, saying that she wanted the characters "to live and breathe alongside the theatergoers as they made their way home."
Tell It To The Bees hits US cinemas and on demand on May 3 and UK cinemas on June 7. Australian and New Zealand dates are still pending.