sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

May 20, 2006

great movie
posted by soe 11:45 pm

We just got back from watching Akeelah and the Bee, and it was easily the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. If you have not already seen the movie, put down whatever you’re doing, stop reading this post, and run to the closest movie theater and see it right now. Seriously. I mean, I ended the movie with a huge grin. Even the most cynical amongst us (and we’re a pretty cynical bunch) found the movie sweetly touching.

The story centers around precocious 11-year-old Akeelah, the youngest child of a harried widowed hospital worker. She is bright, but tries to pretend that she’s not in order to stay out of trouble with the other kids at her South L.A. middle school. Her principal forces her to participate in the school spelling bee, which she wins with ease, qualifying her to move on to the regional bee. Akeelah then must figure out what to do and whether her principal’s friend, the grumpy former head of a college English department, can help her find some answers.

Lawrence Fishburne is compelling as the professor who sees Akeelah’s potential. Angela Bassett gives a gritty performance as a mother trying to do well for all of her children while holding herself together. And Keke Palmer is delightful in the lead role (and seems to be, from her night show appearances, equally charming in real life). She really captures the ambivalence that a lot of smart kids feel about the balance between using their brains and fitting in.

Are you still reading this? If so, I’m guessing this means you’ve already seen the movie. If not, did you not read what I wrote in the first paragraph? Seriously, people, the movie will bring a grin to your face. Hurry up, go make yourself happy.

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