Based on the bestselling novel by Myla Goldberg, 'Bee Season' follows a family of seekers, each of whom is looking to God, transcendence, or love, in their search for something greater than themselves. Eleven-year-old Eliza Nauman (Flora Cross in a promising debut) is on her way to becoming the national spelling bee champion, much to the delight of her heretofore somewhat dismissive father, Saul (Richard Gere). A professor of religion who wrote his thesis on Jewish mysticism, Saul has previously shown more interest in Eliza's older brother, Aaron (Max Minghella), a serious-minded young scholar and cello player. In what soon becomes clear is his customary manner, Saul takes control of Eliza's spelling career, and focuses on her to the exclusion of the rest of his family. Meanwhile, his wife, Miriam (Juliette Binoche), is quietly facing a spiritual crisis, and unbeknownst to her family is engaging in petty thievery in her quest for beauty and salvation. Saul is unwilling to admit that anything is wrong-and thus out of his control-while the unmoored Aaron turns to the beatific Chali (Kate Bosworth), a hare Krishna, for spiritual sustenance and comfort. As Saul attempts to tap Eliza's uncanny knack with words and create a pipeline to God according to the tenets of an ancient Kabbalah scholar, Eliza blames herself for everyone's troubles. As the final competition draws nigh and the family disintegrates, however, it might just be that Eliza is the only one who can save them.
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