Akeelah and the Bee (2006) Rated PG

A girl tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee. Starring Keke Palmer, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett.

This is one of the many spelling bee films that came out around the same time. Although this film was highly praised, I thought it was too much of a feel-good film to really capture the essence of the spelling bee world, which is truly fascinating in its own right. This film instead tugs at your heart with predictable story lines. There’s Keke, with dreams of reaching the National Spelling Bee, who befriends Fishburne’s character, a man with a past tragedy to overcome. Bassett plays Keke’s mom, dealing with the death of her husband. Their performances are breathtaking, but the story is too clichè to really sink your teeth into. Still, it is a good film, worth a watch.

 

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