Akeelah and the Bee

Akeelah and the Bee

4.1 74
Director: Doug Atchison, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Keke Palmer

Cast: Doug Atchison, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett, Keke Palmer

     
 

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A young girl learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in this critically-acclaimed, family-friendly drama. Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old being raised by her mother, Tanya (Angela Bassett), who was left on her own after the death of her husband. While Akeelah is a very bright

Overview

A young girl learns to believe in herself and value her intelligence in this critically-acclaimed, family-friendly drama. Akeelah Anderson (Keke Palmer) is an 11-year-old being raised by her mother, Tanya (Angela Bassett), who was left on her own after the death of her husband. While Akeelah is a very bright girl, she's hardly a star student and seems afraid of acting like a bookworm around her friends and classmates. However, Akeelah's teacher sees genuine potential in her student and encourages her to enter the school's spelling bee, convinced Akeelah has the brains and the talent to win. Akeelah applies herself and emerges victorious in the local competition, but discovers the going gets tougher when she goes to a statewide bee, studying for the regionals under the aegis of strict English teacher Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), who consents to act as her coach A college professor who was a spelling-bee champ as a child, Larabee is a stubborn taskmaster who questions Akeelah's ability and commitment, but in time he develops a respect for his pupil and helps her prove her talent as she climbs the ladder to the National Spelling Bee. Meanwhile, Tanya feels intimidated when she finds the contests are dominated by children from wealthy families and privileged backgrounds, and argues that the competition may not be in Akeelah's best interest, believing instead that homework should be the one and only priority in Akeelah's life. It soon becomes apparent that if Akeelah has any intention of entering the national spelling bee championships in Washington, D.C., she will not do so with Tanya's permission or blessing. This marks the first onscreen reunion of Bassett and Fishburne since their Academy Award-nommed performances as Ike Turner and Tina Turner in Brian Gibson's 1993 biopic, What's Love Got to Do with It.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A sober, heartwarming, and inspirational drama, Akeelah and the Bee employs intelligent writing and unusually sensitive performances, especially from young African-American actress Keke Palmer in the title role. Eleven-year-old Akeelah Anderson, who lives in south central Los Angeles with her working mother (Angela Bassett), is an extremely bright girl whose grades are slipping due to unwelcome, outside influences. To get her back on track, the school principal has her enter the national spelling bee. Akeelah's coach for the event is Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), a college professor on a leave of absence following the death of his daughter. Writer-director Doug Atchison draws his characters sharply, giving clearly definable traits to each but leaving a certain amount of room for interpretation by the actors, who rise to the challenge magnificently. Larabee keenly understands that Akeelah's love for words links her to the father she lost as a small girl, and she realizes on some level that she has become a surrogate for the daughter Larabee lost. Fishburne's demonstrative passion is perfectly balanced by Palmer's quiet strength, and their scenes together are pure, unadulterated movie magic. The climactic spelling bee doesn't unfold along predictable lines, and it demonstrates that Akeelah has learned things she can't get out of a dictionary or thesaurus.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
The average sports movie has a very predictable plot. The misfit learns that he or she has a particular aptitude for the game, there is a coach who knows how to motivate and turns out to hide a heart of gold underneath the gruff exterior, our hero overcomes self-doubt, and eventually everyone gets to "The Big Game." Akeelah and the Bee follows these points at every turn, but the fact that the "sport" is spelling, along with the remarkable skill of the cast and crew, makes it a very strong entry in the sports movie genre. The superb Keke Palmer plays Akeelah, the young black girl from the inner city who through skill and determination battles her way into the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. Palmer feels like she was plucked right off the streets, but she is in fact a professional actress. She handles the deep emotional scenes with a combination of resolve and helplessness that dramatically underscore her character's intelligence and vulnerability. Laurence Fishburne has an ability to express intellectual and/or physical authority alongside a charm that can make that authority seem either less or more threatening depending on the character. He embodies Akeelah's mentor, Dr. Larabee, with the sadness and severity of a man cut off from his own feelings, but smart enough to know this. Angela Bassett, as Akeelah's mother, must play the most difficult part in the film. How do you portray a mother who is opposed to her child being in a spelling bee without coming off like a monster? Because the screenwriters have done an excellent job fashioning an effective if obvious backstory for her, Bassett is never afraid to make her character unappealing when she needs to be. Anyone can see where and how Akeelah gets her dogged determined streak. The supporting cast, especially the group of actors who play Akeelah's friends and competitors, all feel natural and are very appealing. There are no surprises in the film, just rock-solid acting and flawless craftsmanship from the writer/director Doug Atchison. If nothing else, Akeelah and the Bee showcases the joys of solid story structure married to talented artists.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2006
UPC:
0031398195962
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
PG
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:52:00
Sales rank:
3,884

Special Features

Closed Caption; Making of Akeelah and the Bee; Two Peas in a Pod; Inside the Mind of Akeelah; Keke Palmer "All My Girlz" music video; Gag reel; Deleted scenes; 16x9 widescreen version; 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital audio; English and Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Fishburne Dr. Larabee
Angela Bassett Tanya
Keke Palmer Akeelah Anderson
Curtis Armstrong Mr. Welch
Tzi Ma Mr. Chiu
Lee Thompson Young Devon
J.R. Villareal Javier
Sahara Garey Georgia
Sean Michael Afable Dylan
Erica Hubbard Kiana
Julito McCullum Terrence
Dalia Phillips Ms. Cross
Eddie Steeples Derrick-T
Jeris Poindexter Steve
Sara Niemietz Polly
George Hornedo Roman
Craig Wasson Ted Saunders
Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
Marjorie Harris National Spelling Bee Head Judge
Jacques Bailly National Spelling Bee Pronouncer
Krysten Leigh Jones Tough Girl #1
Amirah Hawkins Tough Girl #2
Jeff Marlow District Judge
Chloé Conroy District Pronouncer
Lee Garlington Regional Judge
Sid Ganis Regional Pronouncer
Austin Herrera Davis Cheating Boy
Janet Borrus Cheating Boy's Mom
Wolfgang Bodison Akeelah's Father
Marcus Hawkins Dungey Chuckie
Bonita Friedericy Volunteer
Caroline J. Smith Mary Calveretti
Neil Soni Rajeev Subramonian
Jack Ong Korean Grocer
Lauren Sanchez Reporter
Fay Hauser Woman On Tv
Keshell Lucas Little Girl On TV
Corina Boettger Red-Haired Girl
Shyann Chatman Eighth-Grade Girl
Todd Wagner Regional Bee Assistant Judge
Brittany Elizabeth Curran District Speller #1
Alexandra Rieger District Speller #2
Eric Don Regional Speller #1
Julia Kelleher Regional Speller #2
Zachary Gardner Regional Speller #3
John A. Ausick "Sacciform" Speller
Maddy Kloss "Scutellate" Speller
Mason Green "Longicollis" Speller
Jessy J. Hwang "Ginglymus" Speller
Biplab Panda "Empennage" Speller
Alexander Christian Stephans "Souchong" Speller
Katie L. Brown "Intussusception" Speller
John Oxenreiter "Engastrimythic" Speller
Katie Olson "Escharotic" Speller
Jason Ortenberg "Flocculation" Speller
Lance Norling Boy In Wheelchair
Jmeka Cherrel Driver
Kahlil Ashanti Postman
Aaron Zigman Conductor

Technical Credits
Doug Atchison Director,Screenwriter
Jaki Brown-Karman Casting,Co-producer
Michael Burns Executive Producer
Marc Butan Executive Producer
Kim Coleman Casting
Aisha Coley Casting
Mark Cuban Executive Producer
Mark Czyzewski Editor
Danetracks, Inc. Sound/Sound Designer
Sharen Davis Costumes/Costume Designer
Glenn Farr Editor
Nancy Hult Ganis Producer
Sid Ganis Producer
Joel C. High Musical Direction/Supervision
Rodney Hooks Asst. Director
Michael K. Johnson Associate Producer
Shane Kelly Set Decoration/Design
Kent Kubena Co-producer
Laurence Fishburne Producer
Daniel Llewelyn Producer
Alicia MacCarone Set Decoration/Design
Michael Stern Sound Mixer
Christopher Mosio Camera Operator
M. David Mullen Cinematographer
Matthew Nicolay Sound Mixer
Tom Ortenberg Executive Producer
Michael Paseornek Executive Producer
Dalia Phillips Associate Producer
John Radzik Camera Operator
Michael Romersa Producer
Chad Rosen Asst. Director
Steven Douglas Smith Cinematographer
Helen Sugland Executive Producer
Roland N. Thai Sound/Sound Designer
Todd Wagner Executive Producer
Shelley A. Wallace Art Director
John Warner Set Decoration/Design
Warren Alan Young Production Designer
Aaron Zigman Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Akeelah and the Bee [WS]
1. Introduction [3:25]
2. Espn [5:10]
3. School Spelling Bee [4:27]
4. Do It for Dad [3:48]
5. Dr. Larabee [3:40]
6. District Spelling Bee [7:14]
7. Caught Cheating [4:19]
8. Woodland Hills [5:57]
9. I Need a Coach [4:05]
10. Javier's Birthday Party [5:01]
11. Words to Change the World [4:21]
12. I'm Not in the Mood [3:51]
13. Regional Spelling Bee [7:06]
14. Being Honored [5:25]
15. It's So Hard [2:45]
16. 50,000 Coaches [5:18]
17. Denise [4:52]
18. Off to D.C. [3:43]
19. Scripps National Spelling Bee [4:12]
20. Eliminations [4:57]
21. Break Time [2:47]
22. Xanthosis [3:54]
23. Head to Head [5:12]
24. Credits [7:09]

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Akeelah and the Bee 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 74 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie is so cool!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think “Akeelah and the Bee” is a good movie because it’s about a girl that the spelling bee and she never gives up. I also liked it because she is a hard worker. She is always studying with other people if it’s not her coach it’s with somebody that she goes to and gets help. She got help from a lot of people to study the five thousand words. Those five thousand words are the word she needs to learn if she wants to win the big spelling bee in Washington. I recommend this movie to other people because it’s a great movie to see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie shows that if a community becomes a village our children will never lose. This is a must see for the family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” I enjoyed this movie. It like sends a message but in its own perspective that we should never give up on our dreams, don’t let anything stand in your way. What I didn’t like about this movie was that her mother didn’t believe in her at the beginning of the movie. But what I liked the end that every one came together, Akeelah family and the dr. that helped her with her spelling and motivated her to work hard told her about his daughter and wife. This story is very inspiring and influences everyone to accomplish their goals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” is an alright movie. “Akeelah and the Bee” shows you never to give up even when things get tough. Like one of the main characters Akeelah, she faces a lot of problems in this point in her life with friends, family, and even with herself. One example would be that at one part in this movie they were laughing at Akeelah for being how smart she is, but after a while she started to get over it and the problem is solved when she kind of becomes a hero for her spelling. I suggest that you should see it if you want to see a real good movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Akeelah and the Bee it’s a great movie I gave it 4 stars. I gave the movie 4 stars because it’s a great movie because akeelah is a girl that lives in a poor neighborhood. Akeelah also goes to a poor school one day she had a spelling test and she past it. A doctor was asking her to spell some weird words but she misspell the lat word. After that she was asked to enter the national bee. She won the regional and the state. When she was in Washington she was one of the finalist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” I think the movie “Akeelah and the Bee” is fantastic movie. I like this movie because it’s trying to tell you if you put your mind to it then you can do it. This movie will encourage you to keep trying hard and never give up. This movie is about how a girl name Akeelah who goes to school and a bad neighborhood and she will have to choose between serving detention for a long time or be in the spelling bee. Akeelah doesn’t want to be in it because she thinks people will make fun of her by calling her nerd. She will end up competing in the spelling bee because she wants to do it for her dad that is deceased she is doing it for him because he use to love spelling too. Also movie will inspire you to become a better speller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think “Akeelah and the Bee” is a good movie for many reasons. It’s a movie that some way is giving out a good theme or message. So far its been so good because it has been related to what we are studying which is morphology. This movie is interesting because its about a little girl who is younger than me and who actually tries her best in getting to be in the spelling bee, but sometimes worry of what other people actually think of her and of what she likes to do. I think that if she is a really good speller she should go on towards trying to win the spelling bee and forget of what others. She later on focuses on herself and puts her mind on what she likes doing even though at first her mom doesn’t accept the idea of her joining the bee. She then goes on to the nationals and succeeds. Later on during her time during the bee she gets to meet this little boy, who does help her during a hard time on one of the times she was not able to step on stage. This movie could be based on a real life event because in every kind of school there are these kinds of competitions. And if you are one of the people who like spelling bees this movie would be a good example because you can see that people younger than others also try their best when they want to achieve something.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Akeelah and the bee is about a little girl that lives in a bad neighborhood and is forced to join a spelling by her school that she doesn’t even like. In my opinion I did not like this movie. I thought it was boring and halfway through the movie I wanted to go to fall asleep. The plot made no sense to me and I didn’t like the ending. On the other hand the movie did cast some good actors and they performed good. Still in my opinion I think you should not watch this movie I give it two out of five.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” I think that “Akeelah and the Bee” is an interesting movie because Akeelah was a special in her own way. She did her best on the spelling bee. She was a fun girl did her best to learn the words and at the school the people helped her to study. Akeelah liked to spell words but she was never on a spelling bee. She was studying and having fun at the same time. Akeelah learned words that are difficult and when she was learning them, she learned not to get disturb by any other noise. She had all the people that helped her and she had her friend too. She wanted every person she knew to be by her side. And she knew her dad was by her side even though he was dead.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeela and the bee” review Akeelah and the Bee was a good movie. Most of the actors were great. All except for the rap artist, to me he seemed very fake. The actor made me fell like I was in the movie. A great example was when the girls were making fun of Akeelah. I felt as if I was there. That’s why I gave it four stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great film reminding us all that nothing is more important than getting behind our children and helping them on the road to excellence!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that “Akeelah and the Bee” is a must see movie in many different aspects because of the encouragement that Akeelah was getting from people. She made it through all of the difficult trials and tribulations. I think that this movie could open up a lot of people’s mind. It is such a tribute to all people that want to do something but have a lot of difficulties in their way. But like I said, this is a must see movie. You won’t be sorry if you go and see this movie right now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been excited to see Akeelah and the Bee for several months now, ever since I saw the first trailer. And perhaps my review is tainted with bias, but I thought this film was great. We have been wanting to see a family film touch us this way for quite some time. This is a film about connection, and proves yet again that casting is key. I want to say that Fishburne made this movie, and I would, if it weren't for phenom Keke Palmer. Keke as Akeelah stole the limelight from seasoned veterans Laurence Fishburne and playing her mother, Angela Bassett. Bassett did a phenomenal job as well as her overworked, worrisome mother. Fishburne wowed me with his performance as a collegiate professor weighted down with a difficult past one strikingly similar to Akeelah's path. Others pepper the screen with helpful great acting, including Friday NIGHT LIGHT's Lee Thompson Young and REVENGE OF THE NERDS Curtis Armstrong. And finally surprising performances from Akeelah's friends. The young actors did not overplay their parts like many children they convince the audience they are just other normal kids that can spell words like djkflhsdufhis. The film does a great job of painting a picture of the rough neighborhood without going overboard like so many movies do nowadays. It was enough to know her brother ran with a bad crowd, whereas in cliché movies, her brother might have been shot or gotten into drugs. Knowing that this little girl raised to hopes of the entire neighborhood was not unrealistic, either. Many movies have given realistic accounts of East L.A. this does a great job of showing how bad it is, without showing us how bad it is. Finally, the drama behind this film comes from its love, its friendship. By the end of the film you are sure to have a lump in your throat, you realize that each and every relationship in this film is engulfed in friendship albeit different kinds. If you've ever had a mentor, a best friend, a fresh love, a child, a lost parent, a brother, sister, a caring teacher or president, or even a friendly rivalry, you will love this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Akeelah and the Bee Doug Atchison I think “Akeelah and the Bee” is a good movie. It’s about a young girl who realized that she is good at something and that’s spelling. She competes at spellings bee’s and win’s thanks to her coach her mom, brother, teacher, her friend Javier, and everyone in the neighborhood. I like this movie because it’s inspiring, she never gave up always kept on trying even if she had some bad times. She put her heart and everything on it even though summer school and her mom. The movie is a good and helpful movie it can inspire kids to join spelling bee and I great chance to know they should never give up and should try their best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the bee” This movie was an ok movie because after Akeelah goes through, she never gives up Her dream of being the spelling bee champion. It was great because Akeelah was getting publicity for her school. The school wanted attention because the never got good test scores and they never got notice. Akeelah when though being afraid to show her talent Of knowing how to spell because she would get pick on by two little girls and at the end of the story the two little girls support her with all the community that helps her out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” is a very good movie. This movie is made for the whole family to watch. It is an emotional movie about a young girl who gains confidence and starts believing in herself and her neighborhood as she makes her way through a spelling bee. This movie catches the viewer’s attention and leaves you wanting to se more. My favorite part is when the whole neighborhood helps to train Akeelah for the finals at the Spelling Bee. I like this about the movie because Akeelah wasn’t proud of were she came from and didn’t think much about her neighborhood. I also like that this book lets you connect to its real life problems. “Akeelah and the Bee” has a surprising twist in the end if you would like to know what it is you should watch it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” I think “Akeelah and the Bee” was a great movie. It shows how Akeelah reacts while spelling a word. You can easily tell how her character is. It shows how her family supports her and why she joins the spelling bee. The movie shows how Akeelah’s character changes practicing for the spelling bee. It also shows how her coach feels about Akeelah. It’s surprising at the end of the movie. Akeelah also faces problems in her life. This is why I give the movie five-star. I recommend that you see this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sometimes looking at a theater's list of movies I feel like there's no more hope for the film industry. But this is one of the movies that makes me glad the video camera was invented. Not only is it inspirational and touching, this is just a good movie in general. And it is one of the few movies that has a good message. my only wish is that I had heard about it sooner and seen it in a theater.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Akeelah and the Bee” Akeelah the movie was an o.k. movie it was kind of hard to understand because all that happen was one day she wasn’t interested in entering the spelling bee in school because she was scared that they will make fun of her in school specially some girls that teased her all the time so she didn’t want to but than she decided she wanted to be in it so she goes to the one in school and she beats them so the winner gets to represent their school in the finals but as she gets closer and closer to the finals her mom gets there and tries to take her. “
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” For all those that like being on a Spelling Bee or just watch a Spelling Bee I will definitely will recommend the movie “Akeelah and the Bee” It’s a great challenging movie about a girl wishing to win the National Spelling Bee even though they are some problems for her: her dad died, her brother is always getting in trouble, her mom don’t let her do the Bee, and, in top of it all, her coach is a pain in the Behind. But she deals with it she forgets about everyone and just thinks about her, she meets new friend in the way. I really liked this movie because if you just see little part of it, you will like to finish it all.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reneashia McDowell I think “ Akeelah and The Bee” was a very good movie. It was basically about a girl (Akeelah Anderson) who was interested in spelling and became quite fond of it. Even though there were a couple of cheesy parts, I don’t take off points because it was worth watching. There were parts where it was emotional and parts to be serious. Also I liked the parts where her brothers were in it. I think that it was heartfelt because she had lost her father he is what inspired her to be a speller because when she’d grieve over him she would spell. I can relate to the loss of a parent because I lost my mother when I was seven and to pass time I would read or write poetry or sing or dance. In addition she participated in the school spelling bee which she didn’t want to yet she really didn’t have a choice. Towards the national bee, she makes friends, has a close encounter with losing one and learns the true meaning of love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
“Akeelah and the Bee” is a good movie to watch. This story gets you motivated to do something in your life. It shows how you can get far in life even if you come from a bad neighborhood, poor, or a bad family. Just let go of all of the things that are holding you back and go for it. She changes her community by going to the national bee. Everyone helped her and supported her to win the bee. In this bee she won because she had everyone wit her supporting her not to give up, even when it’s getting tough just keeping going. She also makes new friends on her way to the bee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"Akeelah and the Beee" I think “Akeelah and the Bee” was a great movie. I thought it was a great movie because it shows what people do for other people. I gave it 4 stars because I actually didn’t get bored and it was actually interesting. What I can say about Akeelah is that she’s intelligent. She knows what’s good for her. Her dad died. She lives with her mom brother and a sister. Everyone in the community believes that she could make it to the finals but her brother gives her some hard problems. Well I enjoyed this movie. It’s great. And I would recommend it to anybody