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starring Richard Gere, Juliette Binoche, Flora Cross, Max Minghella
screenplay by Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal, based on the novel by Myla Goldberg
directed by Scott McGehee & David Siegel
by Walter Chaw A lot of mortal liberties were taken with Myla Goldberg's Bee Season on its way to the big screen under the pen of Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal and direction of Scott McGehee and David Siegel, most of them having to do with softening the suffocating fanaticism and sensuality of the novel in favour of the soothing neutral tones of the fearful doorstop demographic. It's not that the book is better, it's that the book is entirely different: the one has a point of view while the other mainly boasts an air of pusillanimous equivocation that turns a vaguely threatening story concerning Kaballah and Hebrew mysticism into Searching for Bobby Fischer. The problem might be that Richard Gere's Saul is a hotshot college professor in this version, and completely reasonable and charming to boot. The problem might be, in other words, that Gere is too good for this movie.