Tell It to the Bees

Watch Tell It to the Bees

"Some secrets are too powerful to keep"
  • R
  • 2019
  • 1 hr 46 min
  • 6.4  (6,633)
  • 50

In the small town of Drumbreck, Scotland during the 1950s, a forbidden romance unfolds in the quietly moving film Tell It to the Bees. The film boasts stellar performances from its two leads, Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger, as well as stunning visual storytelling and a poignant script that approaches its themes with sensitivity and grace.

Paquin stars as Jean, a doctor who returns to her childhood home of Drumbreck with her young son Charlie (Gregor Selkirk) after separating from her husband. Jean takes up the post of physician in the town and tries to make a life for herself and her son in the sleepy, closed-off community. It's there that she meets Lydia (Grainger), a woman who works in a factory and lives in a small house with her abusive husband Robert (Emun Elliott) and young son, Charlie's newfound friend.

Despite their differences in class and the fact that Jean is a woman--though this is barely acknowledged by the characters themselves--Jean and Lydia slowly find themselves drawn to one another, their initial conversations shifting from polite small-talk to more intimate conversations about their pasts, their children, and the state of their own lives.

As the two women grow closer, they soon realize that their feelings might be more than just friendship. It's a realization that shakes Lydia to her core, seeing as how homosexuality is not only taboo but illegal in 1950s Scotland. It's a risky and dangerous prospect to pursue a romantic relationship with another woman, and a flood of emotions washes over both characters as they try to come to terms with their burgeoning love for one another.

Though the romance between the two women is central to the film, the story is so much more than just a love story. It's an exploration of the oppressive societal norms and expectations of the time period; a themed the film touches on frequently without ever feeling heavy-handed or preachy. The emotional beating heart of the film is the relationship between Jean and Lydia's son Charlie, who quickly becomes Jean's patient after injuring himself during a stand-off with his cruel father.

Charlie is a precocious, inquisitive child with a fascination for bees, and his conversations with Jean slowly allow him to open up about the abuse he faces at home. As the film progresses, Charlie becomes increasingly concerned for his mother's well-being, and his curiosity about Jean and Lydia's relationship grows along with his attachment to Jean.

The performances in the film are uniformly excellent, with Paquin and Grainger carrying the bulk of the emotional weight of the story. The two actresses have terrific chemistry, and the gradual progression of their characters' relationship is incredibly well-realized. Adding to the film's authenticity is its specific portrayal of the 1950s, from the period-appropriate clothing and set design to the gorgeously moody cinematography that captures the Scottish terrain in muted tones and soft, natural light.

Tell It to the Bees is a story of love and acceptance that transcends time and social norms, and it's an essential watch for anyone looking for a beautifully realized LGBTQ romance that explores its themes with sensitivity and grace.

Tell It to the Bees is a 2019 romance movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4 and a MetaScore of 50.

Tell It to the Bees
Where to Watch Tell It to the Bees
Tell It to the Bees is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Vudu Free and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Hulu, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Tell It to the Bees for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (6,633)
  • Metascore