Akeelah And The Bee [DVD]
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Critically-acclaimed drama starring Laurence Fishburne. Eleven-year-old Akeelah Anderson's (Keke Palmer) life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her and her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee (Fishburne) for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of, but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life.
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Top Customer Reviews
I want to say that Fishburne made this movie, and I would, if it weren't for phenom Keke Palmer. Keke as Akeelah stole the limelight from seasoned veterans Laurence Fishburne and playing her mother, Angela Bassett. Bassett did a phenomenal job as well as her overworked, worrisome mother. Fishburne wowed me with his performance as a collegiate professor weighted down with a difficult past; one strikingly similar to Akeelah's path. Others pepper the screen with helpful great acting, including Friday NIGHT LIGHT's Lee Thompson Young and REVENGE OF THE NERDS Curtis Armstrong. And finally surprising performances from Akeelah's friends. The young actors did not overplay their parts like many children; they convince the audience they are just other normal kids that can spell words like djkflhsdufhis.
The film does a great job of painting a picture of the rough neighborhood without going overboard like so many movies do nowadays. It was enough to know her brother ran with a bad crowd, whereas in cliché movies, her brother might have been shot or gotten into drugs. Knowing that this little girl raised to hopes of the entire neighborhood was not unrealistic, either. Many movies have given realistic accounts of East L.A.; this does a great job of showing how bad it is, without showing us how bad it is.
Finally, the drama behind this film comes from its love, its friendship.Read more ›
It was worth every cent that it cost!
The film charts her progress as she is encouraged by her head teacher and the enigmatic Dr. Larabee to go on an be a contestant in the national spelling bee while she deals with personal problems at home. Akeelah lives in a disadvantaged part of Los Angeles and her family is dealing with the death of her father some years past. Given the economic struggles and the harsh reality of life in the ghetto, it's easy to see how winning a spelling competition is viewed in such low regard. The film shows us how Akeelah is torn by the ambition to use her intellect and shine through and the desire to simply fit in with the crowd.
Although it sometimes looks pretty obvious where the film is going and seems to incorporate many of the clichés you expect from an underdog story, the naturalistic performances and the gritty domestics bring it back down to earth and the characters feel real enough for you to care about what happens. Akeelah And The Spelling Bee doesn't shy away from highlighting the social divide created by having communities at opposite ends of the wealth spectrum, issues such as snobbery and racism are present and tackled in a way that doesn't feel forced. The film doesn't go on a crusade, it simply presents a good story in a way which reveals a lot about modern life in America. This probably represents life in the rougher urban areas more accurately than most films, the folk there aren't all tagged with stereotypes, they are people with depth and the same hopes, fears, and capacity achieve their full potential as the rest of us.Read more ›
I would highly recommend this film.
very sweet and the young actress is very good indeed.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Everything is Okay. Small purchase, more than correct service - my great pleasure.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Love this film, has really impaired my son to be a spelling champion :)Published 6 months ago by FEAA
This is an inspirational film based on a ture story. We are English teachers and show this film all the time to younger students.Published 15 months ago by Fiona Hipwell Shots English
My D.D (8) watches this film over and over again. A positive film which will take you through many emotions.Published 16 months ago by J H-H