Eleven year-old African-American Akeelah (Palmer) thinks spelling is uncool until she starts to win spelling bee competitions. A grieving professor, Dr. Larabee (Fishburne), helps train her for the national finals, but conflicts with her overworked mother threaten to interfere
There’s charm in this simple underdog tale, but clunky plotting and characterisation mean it has ‘telemovie’ written all over it. You’d be better off renting Spellbound instead.
Reviewed by Anna Smith
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