Anticipating a follow up to “As I Am” ? That album may be a ways off according to Grammy Award-winning songstress Alicia Keys. “No, I need a break, dammit” Keys told NY Daily News over the weekend when asked about working on her next studio album. Outside of the music scene though, Keys is not going to have much of a break with the release of the highly anticipated motion picture ‘The Secret Life of Bees.’ “I just fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful story, one not often told about this time in the civil rights movement.” ” I just felt you knew the people in that book.” “The Secret Life of Bees” follows a white teenager, Lily (Dakota Fanning), caught just outside the tide of change in South Carolina after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When a violent incident lands her family’s housekeeper, Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), in trouble, Lily escapes with the older woman to a honey farm run by the Boatwright sisters, June, August and May (Keys and Oscar nominees Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo). Self-sufficient and worldly, the women are everything that Lily yearns to be. She searches for a mother figure in August even as she is viewed with suspicion by the stiff, hyper-independent June – a reminder that in racially polarized times, fitting into her adoptive family is a task not without its own perils. “For a while you feel like June’s just – what’s going on with her? She’s angry? She’s not embracing Lily at all?” says Keys. “She’s a passionate, emotional person, but she’s definitely been hurt and it’s a hard time. She has to be tough.” While Keys joins an amazing cast including Queen Latifah, Sophie Okenedo and Academy Award-winning star Jennifer Hudson critics have already hailed the “As I Am” singer as the star of the film. Two major media outlets have pointed out Keys’ “commanding presence” while NY Daily News critic Elizabeth Weitzman notes that the “Teenage Love Affair” singer ‘handily steals the movie.’ ‘The Secret Life Of Bees’ hits theaters Friday Oct. 17. Watch video of Alicia Keys ‘on the set’ (below):
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