Monday, September 11, 2006
AKEELAH AND THE BEE
Akeelah and the Bee is an inspirational (though occasionally tear-jerking) movie about a South LA girl who conquers self-doubt to compete in the National Spelling Bee.
In contrast to The Bee Season, which I hated, this movie celebrates finding a healthy and fair way to compete.
Much as The Passion Of The Christ was promoted by pursuing Christian groups, this movie could be extensively promoted in schools -- inner city, outer city, suburban, rural, impoverished and enriched alike. It can be shown in schools less for the benefit of the movie than for the benefit of the students, teachers, parents, and principals.
Keke Palmer does a terrific job as the young girl. A short on the DVD shows her taking direction and demonstrates how well she acted... she was not just behaving as herself.
The film is well written, well acted, well produced (which matters in a "little film"), and well filmed (which is hard with a short shooting schedule, a low budget, and child actors).
One of the producers of the film is Mark Cuban (founder of Broadcast.com), who with Todd Wagner and 2929 Entertainment has created a fund for making worthwhile movies. He succeeded here!