Favorite


 Akeelah and the Bee, which in addition to its underdog roots also manages to come across as a mesh between the documentary Spellbound and Boyz N the Hood refitted with a happy ending, is the latest of this month’s inspirational yarns (following Taking the Lead and Preaching to the Choir). It’s also the most genuinely touching. The lion’s share of the credit for its success goes to Keke Palmer, who essays the central role of Akeelah Anderson. Growing up in south LA with her widowed mother (Angela Bassett) and two older siblings, Akeelah’s only true passion is for spelling -- a seemingly frivolous fancy considering her dour surroundings and dead end options. But determined to somehow put his decrepit school on the map, the principal Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong) encourages Akeelah to try out for a competition that will determine which student will represent them in upcoming spelling bees. Akeelah easily trounces the competition and in doing so catches the eye of Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), Mr. Welch’s friend and a former spelling wiz himself. From the mental approach espoused by Dr. Larabee to the presence of an unsmiling nemesis, Akeelah and the Bee milks the Karate Kid/Rocky formula to such an exhaustive degree that you half-expect a character to bellow "Yo, Adrian!" or order Akeelah to "wax on, wax off." But what sets the film apart is the manner in which it details how Akeelah’s triumphs end up lifting the entire community. Her success is their success, and it’s truly inspiring to watch neighbors from all walks of life throw their support behind her.


 

Favorite

More by Matt Brunson

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Connect Today 05.24.2018

Latest in Film Reviews

  • Review: Deadpool 2
  • Review: Deadpool 2

    If it doesn’t quite reach the plateau of its predecessor, that says less about the freshness of the film’s irreverent approach and more about the comparative stagnation in the character’s development.
    • May 19, 2018
  • Review: Life of The Party
  • Review: Life of The Party

    Much of the picture’s appeal rests with the character essayed by McCarthy. Like Rodney Dangerfield’s Thornton Melon in the 80s comedy classic Back to School, McCarthy’s Deanna is immensely likable, meaning viewers have her back as she rebounds from a deserting spouse by heading back to college
    • May 13, 2018
  • Review: Avengers: Infinity War
  • Review: Avengers: Infinity War

    It’s the darkest, the grimmest, and the most downbeat of all Marvel movies, with countless websites anticipating its solemnity by laying odds on which characters would meet their maker.
    • Apr 28, 2018
  • More »

Movies This Week

More Filmtimes

or

Right Now On: Twitter | Facebook

Copyright © 2018, Connect Savannah. All Rights Reserved.
Website powered by Foundation