Akeelah and the Bee

2006

Drama / Family

187
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 17,274

Synopsis


Downloaded 18,786 times
August 13, 2019

Director

Cast

Angela Bassett as Tanya
Curtis Armstrong as Mr. Welch
Keke Palmer as Akeelah
Laurence Fishburne as Dr. Larabee
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
970.08 MB
1280*720
English
PG
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.81 GB
1920×1080
English
PG
23.976 fps
112 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Movienut88 8 / 10 / 10

Great!

The world of competitive spelling bees has always been a hard subject to dramatize. It is undoubtedly a fascinating subject to behold, one which requires large amounts of both intelligence and strategy. But the fact of the matter is that audiences aren't drawn to them. Most would rather venture out to see an inspirational football drama rather than watch children spell for two hours. This is why the subject has been so rarely covered in film. Two recent examples, the documentary Spellbound and the drama Bee Season, have tried to connect with the average viewer - both receiving mediocre box office returns. Hopefully this trend will cease with the release of Akeelah And The Bee, written and directed by newcomer Doug Atchison. This tale of a young girl winning against all odds is one of the year's biggest gems - a heartfelt and moving film about the champion in us all. The story follows young Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), a shy 11-year old seventh grader who people think of as undeniably average. Her mother Tanya (Angela Bassett) barely notices she is there, her classmates dislike her and her teachers find her incredibly unambitious. She is only able to find solace with her caring older brother Devon (Lee Thompson Young) and best friend Georgia (Sahara Garey). But everything changes one fateful day when Akeelah unexpectedly wins her school's spelling bee. Located in a rough neighborhood in South Los Angeles, her principal (Curtis Armstrong) sees this as an opportunity for some positive publicity for the struggling school. Because of this, he enlists the help of famed teacher Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) to help Akeelah with her studies. At first Akeelah is stubborn, lacking the motivation to work hard enough to move to the next level. But as the months pass, her bond with Larabee grows along with her ambition. As she moves through the regionals and then the state bee - she soon finds herself heading to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national spelling bee. With her entire neighborhood behind her, Akeelah must decide if she has what it takes to win. This film has received much advanced publicity for some of its credentials. It is the first film to be co-distributed by Starbucks Entertainment, a new division of the famed coffeehouse. It is also well-known because Atchison received the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship to put this film in production. This award, given by the AMPAS, is presented to new screenwriters who display much promise. Upon seeing the film, it is evident why Atchison received this award. Akeelah And The Bee greatly benefits from the excellent script, which takes careful time to develop the characters - allowing you to become very attached to them by the end of the film. It also shows the true intensity of the actual competition, including a nail-biting final act as intense as any sports film. Atchison also succeeds in terms of direction, using many interesting shots throughout the running time. The film moves at a fast pace but never feels rushed - keeping the audience completely engrossed in the story. The cast on display here is made up of talented veterans and promising new talent. Laurence Fishburne is great as Larabee, delivering one of his finest performances to date. His character has many layers to his persona, first appearing aloof and haughty but later revealing himself as a caring and sympathetic man with a dark past. Fishburne dives into this role and makes the character completely believable. Angela Bassett is also strong here as Tanya, and tackles each scene with charisma and strength. But the real heart and soul of the picture, and the reason that it is such a success, is Keke Palmer's breakout performance. The multi-layered performance is sure to be one of the year's best - and it is easily the strongest performance by a child actor since Haley Joel Osment's famed turn in The Sixth Sense. She fills the role with lots of energy, but also displays strong dramatic chops and excels in her dramatic scenes - creating a lovable and completely adorable character. Anyone who doesn't fall in love with Palmer as Akeelah must have a heart of stone. Overall, this is easily the best family film of the year so far and one of the strongest inspirational tales in years. While it may have some unavoidable clichés, Akeelah And The Bee succeeds due to a strong script and excellent performances, especially from standout Keke Palmer. There's only one word that comes to mind when summing up this film as a whole: G-r-e-a-t! 8/10 (A-)

Reviewed by the-movie-guy 9 / 10 / 10

Inspiring and heart-warming story for the love of words

(Synopsis) Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old girl in south Los Angeles, with a love for words. Spelling words was a way for her to connect to her father who was killed when she was six. Akeelah is a bright student, but she has been skipping class and is barely passing. Akeelah's principal is about to put her in detention when he persuades her to enter the Crenshaw school's spelling bee. Akeelah wins the spelling-bee and now she can go to the state contest. Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), a college professor and former national spelling-bee contestant, enters the picture. The principal has asked Dr. Larabee to help coach Akeelah. At first, Akeelah is stubborn and hardheaded that she doesn't need any help to win the next spelling-bee. However, Dr. Larabee shows Akeelah that she doesn't know all the words to win. During the summer, Dr. Larabee is a tough taskmaster teaching Akeelah as much as he can. He then gives her 5,000 new words to learn and tells her to do it on her own. With the help of the whole neighborhood, Akeelah learns all the words, and makes it to the national spelling-bee in Washington D.C. (My Comment) This is one movie the whole family can see. The story of Akeelah is an inspirational and heart-warming one that was made for all ages. The storyline of an underdog 11 year-old girl living with her working mother, single mother sister, and gang member brother, making it big in the world of the national spelling-bee is a classic. The film has humor, charm, success, a positive image, drama, and a happy ending which we all like to see in a movie. The movie shows you all the hard work and pressure it takes for someone to actually compete in the national spelling-bee. The film will keep your attention the whole time, and you will clap at the end. Go see this movie; it is worth your time. (Lions Gate Films, Run time 1:52, Rated PG)(8/10)

Reviewed by screen14 9 / 10 / 10

Inspiring and necessary

I went to an advance screening and found "Akeelah" to be so much more than I expected. I sat in the theater dabbing tears from eyes throughout the showing. The emotional weight, story-telling approach and female perspective in "Akeelah" is much like that of POETIC JUSTICE (also set in South Central, LA). "Akeelah" has GREAT cast performances. As a mentor to Akeelah, Laurence Fishburne continuously reminded me of his nurturing position in BOYZ N THE HOOD - I thought of FINDING FORRESTER and THE MAN WITHOUT A FACE as well. Fishburne looks spectacular with Angela Bassett who knows all the right expressions and vocal tones to have the powerful realism she does in her role as a fearful parent in South Central. Keke Palmer, she is definitely on the rise... pretty girl too. Several strong subplots come about in the first half of "Akeelah." They deal with the painful past of Dr. Larabee (Fishburne), lack of time and attention from Akeelah's overworked mother (Bassett), a teetering relationship between Akeelah and her best friend Georgia (Sahara Garey), and the problems of one of Akeelah's brothers who spends his time out late on the streets of South Central. Apart from the dramatic mood of "Akeelah," there's an excellent amount of comedy. Many of the jokes are in the things that aren't said but seen (watch the father of Akeelah's major opponent). The most hilarious part of the film, IMO, involves the loyalty of Akeelah's friend Javier (J.R. Villarreal) - you'll know the scene when you see it. From a more objective standpoint, I felt that many of the scene cuts/transitions in "Akeelah" weren't too clean. I forget all about it though when I reflect on the emotional montages that center around Akeelah, her family and the people of her community. If you remember the standout poem ("our deepest fear...") recited in COACH CARTER, you might feel that "Akeelah" twice makes trite use of it. However, different lines of the poem are read this time around. The pacing of "Akeelah" is good, especially when it comes to how Akeelah learns and advances in the National Spelling Bee. "Akeelah" makes the competition look and feel suspenseful at times, but more importantly, it focuses on the rewards found by those who believe in themselves. Kids in the theater I went to were spelling aloud from the very first scene. The ending -- I won't spoil it -- combines the pieces of humor, triumph and sadness in "Akeelah" in one of the most beautiful finishes I've ever seen, felt and heard from a movie. You MUST go see AKEELAH AND THE BEE!! You'll leave the theater highly inspired by the best word given in the film ("L-O-V-E").

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