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Paul Norman Allen
The classic board game, Scrabble, has been popular for decades. In addition, there are fanatics who devote heart and soul to this game to the expense of everything else. This film profiles a group of these enthusiasts as they converge for a Scrabble convention where the word game is almost a bloodsport. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
The last line in the credits reads "This film is rated 1900" - a reference to the National Scrabble Association rating system (1700 and above is considered an expert rating; typically only elite players get to 1900 and up). See more »
As a former tournament Scrabble player, this documentary was a delight to see. (I know and have played all four of the main subjects of the film.) People in that scene, especially at the top, are really that eccentric -- it's part of the allure of the tournament circuit, playing against people who are incredibly devoted to study and strategic analysis. The film accurately captures both the heart of the competitors as well as the frenetic energy that develops around trying to be the best. The documentary is informative beyond this one particular topic, in that way.
As far as documentaries go, it's clearly a second-tier documentary film. (It's not a "Capturing the Friedmans", a "Fog of War", a "Startup.com".) However, if you have an interest in seeing mad geniuses at work or the game of Scrabble taken to an extreme, I recommend this film highly. (8+ out of 10)
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