Tell It to the Bees Club
Cert; Now showing IFI
Fiona Shaw's well-regarded novel, a lesbian romance set in the unforgiving surrounds of a small Scottish town in 1952, is not done justice in this well-intentioned but somewhat ineffectual screen adaptation. Director Annabel Jankel works off a slightly clunky screenplay by sisters Henrietta and Jessica Ashworth, to deliver what ends up feeling a bit predictable.
Englishwoman Lydia (Holliday Grainger) is an outsider in her adopted Scottish home and finds little comfort when her husband Rob (Emun Elliott) leaves her and their son Charlie (Gregor Selkirk). She does find a friend in newly-returned and equally unaccepted bee-keeping Dr Jean Markham (Anna Paquin). The story is predictable and touches on virtually every single injustice done to women. This carries inherent emotional weight, but what could really have added more was if they had explored more how so often the enforcers of these injustices were other women. And the ending made little sense to me. I think it is too busy telling you the story to make you feel much. ★★ Aine O'Connor
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