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Tell It to the Bees: Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger Will Fall in Love in 1950s Britain

Anna Paquin and Holliday Grainger, both fresh off excellent period dramas (Alias Grace and My Cousin Rachel respectively), are set to co-star in queer period film Tell It to the Bees which director Annabel Jankel calls “an unholy mash-up of 1950s social and magical realism.”

The story, based on Fiona Shaw’s book of the same name, centers around Lydia Weekes (Grainger), a woman separated from her volatile husband raising her son Charlie (newcomer Gregor Selkirk) on her own. After Charlie gets in a school-yard scuffle, he becomes friends with Dr. Jean Markham (Paquin), who then grows close to his mother. The title refers to the hives in Weekes’ garden where she and Charlie tell their secrets, so yes, there will be bees.

Deadline shares the synopsis, “The women find themselves drawn to one another in a way that Jean recognizes and fears, and which Lydia could never have expected. But in 1950s small-town Britain, the secret won’t stay hidden forever.”

The cast will also include Kate Dickie, Lauren Lyle, Emun Elliott, and Steven Robertson.

I love a good period drama, especially one that pushes against the sanitized and conventional romances that we often associate with the genre. It’s why we’ve been so excited for films like Vita & Virginia and Shibden Hall, it revives the queer icons that often don’t get acknowledgment in our history and reminds everyone that LGBTQIA individuals have always existed. While Lydia and Jean weren’t real people, their story is no doubt going to be one that many can relate to and identify with.

Are you looking forward to Tell It to the Bees?

(via Women and Hollywood, image: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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