• Akeelah and the Bee details

Akeelah and the Bee Synopsis


A heart-warming drama, Akeelah and the Bee is the story of Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer), a precocious eleven-year-old girl from south Los Angeles with a gift for words. Despite the objections of her mother Tanya (Angela Bassett), Akeelah enters various spelling contests, for which she is tutored by the forthright Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne); her principal Mr. Welch (Curtis Armstrong) and the proud residents of her neighborhood. Akeelah's aptitude wins her a spot in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and in turn unites her neighborhood who witness the courage and inspiration of one amazing little girl.


Laurence Fishburne trades in his leather pants and samurai sword for a bow tie and a smart pair of slacks for a movie about spelling. Akeelah and the Bee takes the world of children’s competitive spelling and pushes it to the big screen with a typical downtrodden kid succeeds against the odds story, and casts Fish as a spelling mentor.

The movie is directed by Doug Atchison, whose last movie was The Pornographer. Now he’s directing little kids. There’s an inappropriate joke in there somewhere, find it for yourself.

Akeelah and the Bee has a good cast. Angela Basset is in the mix there with Fishburne. But no matter how hard modern media outlets try to shove them down our throat (ESPN now covers spelling bees), there’s nothing interesting about kids spelling. I’m sorry. I’d rather be forced to watch a movie about soccer. Publicize it all you want, make movies about it, glorify it. It’s still a movie about kids doing something that can be done better by just about any program sitting on my computer. Applying the tired old underdog sports success story to it won’t make more it interesting. It’s just spelling. No one is impressed.

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