Tell It to the Bees

Critics Consensus

Tell It to the Bees is well-acted and well-intentioned -- but often undermined by its frustratingly didactic storytelling.



Total Count: 49


Audience Score

User Ratings: 61
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Movie Info

Dr. Jean Markham (Anna Paquin) returns to the town she left as a teenager to take over her late father's medical practice. When a school-yard scuffle lands Charlie (Gregor Selkirk) in her surgery, she invites him to visit the hives in her garden and tell his secrets to the bees, as she once did. The new friendship between the boy and the bee keeper brings his mother Lydia (Holliday Grainger) into Jean's world. In the sanctuary of the doctor's house the two women find themselves drawn to one another in a way that Jean recognizes and fears, and Lydia could never have expected. But, in 1950's small-town Britain, their new secret can't stay hidden forever.


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Critic Reviews for Tell It to the Bees

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (26)

  • Watery romance that has no real feeling to cling to.

    Jul 24, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Yikes. That wasn't pretty.

    Jul 22, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Despite the hefty talent involved, there's a preposterous pass-agg tweeness to this film - a contrived and self-conscious affair adapted from Fiona Shaw's 2009 novel and directed by Annabel Jankel.

    Jul 18, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It would be easy to argue that the movie's heart is in the right place, because it is. However, to apply another cliché, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    May 3, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Even though I wasn't familiar with what happens in the book while watching Tell It to the Bees, I could feel something was emotionally out of place.

    May 3, 2019 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Paquin... and especially Grainger shoulder the film's dramatic burdens with grace and ease... But the unassumingly square and overly familiar film simply isn't the buzzworthy vehicle their work deserves.

    May 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tell It to the Bees

  • Oct 11, 2019
    Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger star in the period drama Tell It to the Bees. The story follows a single mother who's been abandoned by her husband and is taken in by a local doctor when she and her son are evicted from their home. The acting isn't very good and neither is the script. It doesn't seem to know whose story this is, and at the end it throws in some LGB propaganda; future taking it away from being a character story. A poorly made film, Tell It to the Bees meanders about and is fairly pointless.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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