a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

I finally caught this on DVD, and this is a very, very solid movie, that just does everything right.

For every slightly-formulaic moment, there's another scene that's a surprise. Mostly it's just good writing, and acting.

And you have to love a movie that's concerned with the inspirational power of just letting yourself be smart, and how that affects those around you.

The writer-director is Doug Atchison, who won a Nicholl Fellowship in 2000 for this screenplay.

Rent it. One of the best movies of the year.


At 3:22 AM, Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

It is indeed one of the best movies of the year, and I think young Ms. Keke will be in line for an Oscar nomination .. or at least she should be

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous chris said...

It's great. I can go a little for some critique...kind of think the kid actors, even the lead's performances appear a bit...coached...or that they're over their heads, or something. Whenever a kid, a real kid has to play a genius, you risk a little bit of...well, what makes them that way? And a bit of unconvincing when the scene that are meant to demonstrate that come up, and some of the filmmaking seems a little bit, only ok -- BUT --

BUT --

-- minor flaws. And it just throws the quality of the story and script into high relief.


I cried real tears, so you can't really argue w/that, can you?

And what is it with SPELLING? Ever since SPELLBOUND...I can't get enough or spelling, spelling, spelling...I play at least ten games of scrabble/week (even go to clubs, how nerdy am I? And couldn't wait for the National Spelling Bee -- nearly wept when Tivo cut off the end of it. And that kid who was disqualified...and THEN let back in -- MAN...

...btw., Akeelah is great, but I'm not sure it touches SPELLBOUND, the documentary, from which, I'm sure it takes its inspiration. So tense, so great. But not that many see documentaries, so they have to remake them as features...(I think Dogtown and Z Boys is the next one, right? Or did that come and go?)

At 9:34 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Actually, the story with Akeelah is that the script was written well before Spellbound, but they didn't get it financed until after Spellbound came out and showed that spelling bees could be dramatic on screen.

But the writer was majorly influenced by watching the National Spelling Bee every year. Actually, there's a nice little making-of feature on the Akeelah DVD that really brings acoss the passion that Doug Atchison has for the script and his real feel for the subject matter, even though he unexpectedly turns out to be a white guy.

At 11:02 AM, Blogger Tom said...

You've spent all that time in Starbucks and you just got around to seeing this now? They were pimping the movie for a solid month before the debut (they partly financed).

I should talk, I haven't seen it either, although I almost wept when I lost the promotional 'pulchritude' coaster I picked up in midtown. Great word.

At 3:14 PM, Blogger taZ said...

It's a weird coincidence, but I rented Akeelah today. So after reading your post I watched it directly.

Simply G-R-E-A-T.

At 8:31 AM, Anonymous Don said...

What a piece of manipulative junk. Undoubtedly one of the most cynical movies of the year: playing into the liberal piteous of the oh so unfortunate minority (sigh). I was worked over with the emotional conceits of this movie better than if I paid for a high class hooker, thus, I thought Spielberg must have had something to do with it.


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