Akeelah and The Bee

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Director: Doug Achison
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Keke Palmer
RunTime: 113 mins
Genre: Drama

Rating: PG
Who should watch: Word lovers, English teachers and any one who needs inspiration

(This review was contributed by Vonjie, after I highly recommended her to watch.)

Prestidigitation. Argillaceous. Merovingian. Now close your eyes and try to spell all three. Akeelah (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old girl who could spell words like these though she had never seen them. But her gift brought her more embarrassment than pride.

The black girl, struggling with identity and emotional neglect, finds herself compelled to join the ranks of smart, mostly white middle class kids so she could well in the state wide spelling bee. Her coach played by Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) shows her that her deepest fear is not her inadequacy but her brilliance.

It’s a heartwarming and inspirational story justified by Fishburne’s and Palmer’s skilled acting, despite somewhat predictable characters and a seemingly too perfect ending.

When Akeelah struggled with 'argillaceous' on stage, and finally got it right, I almost stood up and cheered, forgetting I was in a theatre, not at the bee. Talk about suspense of belief.

The movie made scrabble look hip and word lovers will feel like running out to buy the thickest dictionary and learning every single word. It does offer more than just words though and you’ll have to watch it to find out.

Akeelah and the Bee – When spelling the impossible is nothing

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