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.
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Changing the world... one word at a time.
28 April 2006 (USA)
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Also Known As:
A som i Akeelah
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Opening Weekend USA: $6,011,585,
30 April 2006, Wide Release
Gross USA: $18,811,135, 16 July 2006
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Aspect Ratio: 2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?
Filmed at Portola Middle School in Woodland Hills See more
The plaque on the wall in Dr. Larabee's office, which he makes Akeelah read, wrongly attributes the quote to Nelson Mandela's 1994 inaugural speech. This is a common mistake, but Nelson Mandela has never used that quote in any of his published speeches. The quote is from Marianne Williamson an American spiritual activist. See more
Katie Kerwin McCrimmon
[commentating on TV
Several of the kids placed very high in last year's bee, especially Dylan Chiu. He's come in second two years in a row.
Kick his butt, Akeelah! B-U-T-T, butt!
References The Powerpuff Girls
Wake Up Everybody
Written by Victor Carstarphen
(as Victor Leon Carstarphen), Gene McFadden
and John Whitehead
Performed by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
(as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes)
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment See more