Akeelah and the Bee (12A)
Friday 18 August 2006
"It's Grim Up South Central Los Angeles, Part Two": but this time with a happy, nay, inspirational ending. An 11-year-old girl from the hood, naturally brilliant but bored and disillusioned with school, is cajoled by her teachers into entering school, then district, then regional spelling bees, finally travelling to Washington for the National Spelling Bee (as seen in the documentary Spellbound, off the back of which the producers drummed up cash for this).
Predictably, she faces opposition: from schoolfriends, who think she's a nerd; from her teenage brother, who just wants to look cool and hang out with the local drug-dealer; from her mother, for reasons that are contrived and frankly unconvincing; from her spelling coach, ditto; from her main opponent, the Chinese boy with the competitive dad; and most of all from herself, and her poor self-image.
The film has an important, uplifting message; shame it couldn't be encased in a less faked-up story. It's appropriate that this mildly stimulating mix of syrup and froth was financed by Starbucks. Still, you've got Laurence Fishburne, you've got Angela Bassett and you've got newcomer Keke Palmer as Akeelah.
Bannatyne leaves Dragon's DenTV
They're back, they're big – and they're still spectacularly boringfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let’s see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
- 3 Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014: In defence of Mesut Ozil - the Arsenal midfielder works magic in the shadows
- 4 Pornhub pleads with users to stop uploading videos of Brazil 'getting f**ked by Germany' in World Cup match
- 5 Give childhood back to children: if we want our offspring to have happy, productive and moral lives, we must allow more time for play, not less
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
British jihadist calls for 'flag of Islam' over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories