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Akeelah and the Bee (2006)

PG | | Drama, Family | 28 April 2006 (USA)
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A young girl from South Los Angeles tries to make it to the National Spelling Bee.

Director:

Doug Atchison

Writer:

Doug Atchison
12 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Keke Palmer ... Akeelah
Laurence Fishburne ... Dr. Larabee
Angela Bassett ... Tanya
Curtis Armstrong ... Mr. Welch
J.R. Villarreal ... Javier (as JR Villarreal)
Sean Michael Afable ... Dylan
Sahara Ware Sahara Ware ... Georgia (as Sahara Garey)
Lee Thompson Young ... Devon
Julito McCullum ... Terrence
Erica Hubbard ... Kiana
Eddie Steeples ... Derrick-T
Dalia Phillips ... Ms. Cross
Tzi Ma ... Mr. Chiu
Jeris Poindexter ... Steve (as Jeris Lee Poindexter)
Sara Niemietz ... Polly
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Storyline

Eleven year-old Akeelah Anderson's life is not easy: her father is dead, her mom ignores her, her brother runs with the local gangbangers. She's smart, but her environment threatens to strangle her aspirations. Responding to a threat by her school's principal, Akeelah participates in a spelling bee to avoid detention for her many absences. Much to her surprise and embarrassment, she wins. Her principal asks her to seek coaching from an English professor named Dr. Larabee for the more prestigious regional bee. As the possibility of making it all the way to the Scripps National Spelling Bee looms, Akeelah could provide her community with someone to rally around and be proud of -- but only if she can overcome her insecurities and her distracting home life. She also must get past Dr. Larabee's demons, and a field of more experienced and privileged fellow spellers. Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan <shannon@mun.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Changing the world... one word at a time.

Genres:

Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 April 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A som i Akeelah See more »

Filming Locations:

Berkeley, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,011,585, 30 April 2006, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$18,811,135, 16 July 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laurence Fishburne's character, Mr Larabee, is based on director Doug Atchison's teacher, Mr. Larabell. See more »

Goofs

When Crenshaw Middle School celebrates Akeelah's placing third in the regional bee,an enlargement of an article about Akeelah from a local paper is shown in the background. Zooming in, you can see that the names of the school principal and Akeelah's chief rival do not match their names in the film. The principal is "Bob" Welch, according to the opening scene in the schoolyard; the article names him as "Marvin." Similarly, Dylan's surname is "Chiu" in the film, but in the article, his surname is an 8-letter name beginning with W or M. Clearly the article prop was made before the names of the characters were finalized. See more »

Quotes

Akeelah: [Javier has just kissed her] Why'd you do that?
Javier: I had an impulse. Are you gonna sue me for sexual harassment?
[pause, then they both laugh]
See more »

Connections

Features E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Definition of Love
Written by Jimmy Jam (as James Harris III), Terry Lewis and Big Jim Wright (as James Q. Wright)
Performed by Deborah Cox
Additional vocals by Keke Palmer (as KeKe Palmer), Michelle Williams, Shelea Frazier & Place Called Home Choir (as A Place Called Home Choir)
Produced by Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis & Big Jim Wright (as James "Big Jim" Wright) for Flyte Tyme Productions,
Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Among the best, without a doubt
29 April 2006 | by sushiichiroSee all my reviews

Akeelah and the Bee is an excellent movie, and it deserves universal recognition for the unbelievably powerful message, storyline, and theme evident throughout. First of all, Starbucks's co-operation with Laurence Fishburne to produce the movie was a great move on everybody's part. And though many critics may say that Akeelah and the Bee was just another "inspirational film," lacking the originality and pungency necessary for good cinema, the people with such a belief just don't get it. Like Rudy (1993), Akeelah and the Bee is most certainly original in that the story is plausible, meaningful, and very emotional. The only real difference between the two films is that whereas Rudy is based on a true story, Akeelah and the Bee is completely fictional. Also, the fact that all of the real protagonists in the film are minorities brings an incredible new level to the silver screen. Very few recently released movies feature an African-American female--a youth, no less--in the role of the main character. And for viewers to see Akeelah--as well as her mother, her siblings, her best friend, her coach, and her other two spelling-bee companions: all of whom are minorities--achieve such great heights is most definitely "inspirational," and in the right sense. Even for the movie-viewer whose favorites are full of action, violence, and gore, Akeelah and the Bee strikes the heart directly. And for those who like the tear-jerkers, no better movie exists than this one. Without question, this film is one of the best I have seen in a long time, and many will agree that it is an exceptional piece of work. I would honestly be shocked if someone really believed in his or her mind that Akeelah and the Bee "was a waste of time."


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