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Akeelah and the Bee (Version française)

4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing movie March 11 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love this movie. It even made me tear up a bit! Definitely a must see. It will be a multiple watcher for me for sure!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous !!! Jan. 6 2007
From the first scene to the last scene of the movie i sat entranced and interested and willing to watch the movie to see what would happen next. The story is about an 11 year old girl from a run down school in Los Angeles who has a talent for spelling words and her journey to get to the National Spelling Bee contest.

At first no one believes in her, as she doesn't really believe in herself. And slowly you begin to see her confidence grow and her journey to the National Spelling Bee soon brings her whole community together. The movie is funny, inspiring, uplifting and will leave a warm glow in your heart. The actress Keke Palmer is extremely talented and you will feel her fears and excitement as she feels it.

The entire cast is extremely likeable. From Akeelah's family to her spelling mates, to her coach you will like them all. Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishbourne who were in "What's Love Got to Do With it" do an excellent job.

The story is well written and hooks you in from start to finish. I highly recommend this movie. You could watch it with your kids or your adult friends, the message is universal.

If you only watch one movie this year, watch this one. You will be glad you did.

i don't usually cry and i almost cried.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Akeelah and the Bee March 30 2009
Akeelah and the Bee (Widescreen)
This movie is excellent for all ages. A feel good kind of show. We have to remember when times are tough we NEVER give up. We need to keep going as better times are around the corner. Believe in yourself!!!!!!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Akeelah and the Bee is a G-o-o-d Movie!, July 4 2007
By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
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 wanted 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  468 reviews
70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have nothing to fear but fear itself. May 1 2006
By K A Goode - Published on Amazon.com
Having just returned from this movie at midnight, well after my normal bedtime, I am encouraged. This movie is not just about spelling bees, albieit interesting to me; as I love spelling.

It is more about finding out for yourself who you are and what you are capable of, there will always be issues associated with race, class and a laundry list of other things but what matters more than those things is H-E-A-R-T and where you choose to put yours.

This film is very much about realizing that in spite of all things we must find a cause and dig in deeply until we have satisfied our quest.

Life rewards action, make careful decisions and act!

The choices that we make today have a long reaching impact and recognizing that this film should remind people that life is not a spectator sport; It's meant to be interactive.

Whatever it takes, find out who you are and what you are made of in spite of your fears. You'll be surprised who and what you find on the other side of fear.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll brook no nonsense!" Aug. 31 2006
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Akeelah And the Bee is so warm and heart-wrenching, so full of power and emotion that you can forgive the film for being formulaic and deliberately tugging at the heartstrings. Featuring a truly bravura performance by the young Keke Palmer is Akeelah, this film is one of the best feel-good family movies to come along in years and certainly one of the best films of 2006.

Akeelah (Palmer) is an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Crenshaw Middle School in South Los Angeles, she's bright - she even aces all the class spelling tests - but she has a bit of an attitude problem, partly caused by the unmotivated feeling of those around her, and the idea that to be intelligent is not considered "cool."

But deep down Akeelah loves words and it's something she shared with her late father. Avella's mom, Tanya (Angela Bassett), is too busy trying to keep her life and family together to pay much attention. She has one young son flirting with being a gangbanger and another son is doing well in the Air Force, so Tanya just doesn't want to be bothered with what she views as the foolishness of spelling competitions.

Spurred on by the school principal (Curtis Armstrong) Akeelah is encouraged to enter the Crenshaw school spelling bee, even though she doesn't really want to do it. She of course wins, and but she's going to need help if she wants to make it through other contests. She finds a mentor in the somber Dr. Larabee (Lawrence Fishburne) who is on sabbatical from his position as chairman of the UCLA English department and has a lot of time on his hands.

From the outset these two very different people are destined to clash. He views her as insolent; and she sees no reason to be interested in the broader cultural education he wants her to master in addition to spelling. However, they soon warm to each other and Akeelah immerses herself in the world of spelling where she meets fellow contestants Javier (J.R. Villarreal) is a gregarious Latino with supportive parents and the mechanical Dylan (Sean Michael Afable) who is being pressured to win the Bee by his humorless and stern Asian American father.

Will Akeelah make it to the National Spelling Bee in Washington? And will Tanya eventually come around and support her daughter's efforts? The evolving relationship between Akeelah and her mentor forms the core of this movie, as Dr. Larabee tries to temper Akeelah's fears.

But the biggest surprise comes at the end where writer-director Doug Atchison surprisingly deviates from the tried and true formula. The outcome depends not on who will win the bee, necessarily - but on the moral and ethical choices that our young heroine makes.

Atchison occasionally piles on the melodrama a bit thick, but he gets away with it because his cast is so good, especially the young Keke Palmer, who should indeed get an Oscar nomination for this. You expect nothing but emotional truth and top-notch performances from Fishburne and Bassett, but it's the young Palmer who wins your heart with a feat of acting that's so completely honest and free of affectation. Mike Leonard August 06.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe I Need to Watch More "Kid's Movies" July 2 2006
By Tome Raider - Published on Amazon.com
I took my six-year-old to see this at the theater today. I thought it might inspire her to become more interested in word structure and spelling. Wow, I bet it did that and more! I would be willing to say that this movie has a good chance of being life-altering for any kid who goes into it with the slightest curiosity or interest. There are great performances by all, and important principles are illustrated without the slightest trace of preachiness.

This movie shows an extremely nice fatherless young girl overcome a variety of adverse circumstances and push herself to her limit. This is a great film about self-discipline and dedication and taking the risks necessary to achieve personal greatness. Be it spelling, bicycling, piano, ballet or soccer, this film spells out the formula for accomplishment. I think your kids will pick up on the lesson, it penetrates invitingly. It also shows kids being very nice to one another, before biases and social classes have hardened and divided us.

This film was not at all preachy, but it really highlights the tangible nature of some of the disadvantages facing our kids in poorer communities. There are kids in those areas with tremendous academic talent and a willingness to work to accomplish big things. America should be a country where every kid who desires to achieve, and is willing to work hard to do so, receives a fair shot at that on a level playing field. Akeelah got some help from her friends here--and a dedicated school pricipal--but I fear that in real life there may be some Akeelahs falling through the cracks.

An English professor played by Laurence Fishbourne was one of the breaks Akeelah got here. I liked it that he gave her no slack, no "affirmative action" for her hardships. He held the bar very high and expected a lot ffrom her in every way, and she rose to the occasion. And, during his teaching of her, he healed a few of his old wounds as well. I was kind of hoping that he would hook up with Akeelah's mom, or at least a hint that that was going to happen, because that would have been perfect.

This was a very sweet and entertaining movie, and I have to tell you I left the theater a little teary-eyed. The friendly little Hispanic kid who goes out of his way to befriend Akeelah will obviously be a cult figure for decades. His playful good naturedness is an example for all of us. This movie struck the absolute right tone on several themes of social importance, and I think good ole Starbucks has to be congratulated on a great debut into the movie biz.

I saw the Disney movie "Eight Below" earlier this week and it also just blew me away, and so I'm now going to start paying a lot more attention to these movies intended for younger audiences!! These both were much better than the movies intended for my age bracket!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Go See This Film Already! May 11 2006
By thornhillatthemovies.com - Published on Amazon.com
After watching the new film "Akeelah and the Bee", I told two of my friends with daughters about the same age as the title character they had to see this film. One of my friends said his daughters didn't want to see it. They thought it looked boring. Well, there are no flying wizards in the film, but "Akeelah and the Bee" is a very good film, something everyone should see. Especially children in the same age bracket as the spelling dynamo.

"Akeelah and the Bee" is a great film for everyone in the entire family. I defy you, or anyone you see this film with to not be moved by the story.

Akeelah (Keke Palmer), a student at Crenshaw Middle School, in South Los Angeles, is bored with her school. Her teachers recognize her intelligence; she gets good grades, but her attendance and attitude are lacking. The school hosts its first Spelling Bee and the Principal (Curtis Armstrong) insists Akeelah participate. After she trounces the competition, she attracts the attention of Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), a professor on sabbatical and former contestant in the National Spelling Bee who agrees to coach Akeelah. But her mother (Angela Bassett) is too distracted to notice her daughter is going to the City Spelling Bee and then the Regionals. Soon, Akeelah has the entire community rooting for her and helping her, pushing her to win the National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

Yes, the film is predictable and, at times, a little sappy. But the performance of Keke Palmer as Akeelah quickly makes you forget about the few problems the film has. Akeelah is like many middle school students; afraid to show how intelligent she is because she will be teased by other students, she purposely dumbs herself down in public situations. This is unfortunate, but it happens. When she receives an `A' on a spelling test, she quickly hides the paper, afraid some of the mean girls will find out. She doesn't want to participate in the school's Bee because she wants to remain under the radar. Sure enough, at the Bee, two girls stand in back and heckle Akeelah. So far, we are really talking about a TV Movie of the Week caliber performance. Then we learn more about Akeelah. We learn about her relationship with her mother and father, her older brothers, how she challenges herself at home, why she does this. She has to put up a front to survive in the school and the area where she lives. But at home, she is free to play Scrabble against a computer, or to study flash cards. Also, we soon learn why she isn't the best student and it all makes sense. She is a complicated young lady and Palmer does a great job of making her believable. It is a very good performance from someone so young.

Fishburne is the other major character, and he is very good. There is a lot resting below the surface of Dr. Larabee. As he reluctantly decides to coach the young lady, he admonishes her against using slang and ghetto talk. As soon as he says this, and she realizes he is serious, she effortlessly begins using proper English. But why does he seem to have a grudge against the community where he lives? As they move forward with the coaching, Larabee becomes more withdrawn, and eventually tells Akeelah that he has done all he can, giving his young prot?g? a feeling of abandonment. She is confused and doesn't feel like continuing. Then Akeelah's mom (Angela Bassett) pays a visit and learns more about his reasons. Both Akeelah and Dr. Larabee have had very similar experiences, leading to their respective attitudes. When you realize the reasons behind Larabee's behavior, it suddenly all makes sense. His character has many layers and part of the journey is unraveling them.

Bassett has, perhaps, the most difficult role. She is a single mom, trying to keep track of a son who is getting mixed up with gangs. When Akeelah comes home and announces that she will be going to the National Spelling Bee, her mom is concerned about her school work. Because of the previous attendance problem, Akeelah is told she has to go to summer school. This is all her mom can process, she can't even realize Akeelah has a chance to win a NATIONAL SPELLING BEE; she doesn't even have the chance to process what this is. When she finally realizes her daughter might win this contest, her reaction is very natural. She doesn't immediately gush and become a doting mother; she is initially hurt her daughter lied to her. Once she reconciles this, she helps and encourages her daughter.

The performances are good because they convey what life is like for these characters without falling into stereotypes. Yes, they live in a drug and gang filled area, but Akeelah's mom works as a nurse, and struggles with her oldest son. Akeelah is smart, but can't show it too much at school, if she wants to remain "normal". Dr. Larabee lives in the community he has lived all his life, despite some problems. Each of the actors provides a vivid portrayal of a three dimensional character.

As she begins to study for the Bee, she also meets other people outside of her community. She becomes friends with Javier (J.R. Villareal), a student from Woodland Hills who placed 13th in the previous year's National Bee. As their friendship grows, she spends more time with him and his family, traveling to the more affluent suburb, recognizing how lacking her neighborhood and school are. At one point, she says "Why would I want to represent the school I hate?" We soon learn she has a poor attendance record and problems in school because she is bored, not because she is dumb. Because she is bored, she has no motivation.

Generally, in a film like this, you can predict the outcome. But the filmmakers have managed to throw a nice little twist into the final scene, making it all the more interesting, exciting and emotional.

My one complaint for the film is the production quality is a little low. Clearly, the film was made on an independent budget and, at times, looks like it would be more at home as a Television Movie of the Week. Compare this film to the recent "Bee Season" which is also about a young lady going to the National Spelling Bee, and you will see two films that look very different. "Season" was produced by a major production company and looks like a big studio film; glossy, perfectly lit, beautiful. "Akeelah" is a bit duller looking and doesn't appear as polished. This is a small complaint and I only make it because it is unfair to "Akeelah", the better film. More money was probably spent on Richard Gere's salary for "Season" than the entire budget of "Akeelah". That's a shame, because the message of "Akeelah" is so much more universal, uplifting and encouraging.

Take everyone you know to see "Akeelah and the Bee". You will all enjoy it and the film might just help someone get past a hurdle they have been struggling with for a long time.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very inspiring film! July 2 2006
By Nene - Published on Amazon.com
I loved this film from beginning to end. I found myself cheering when-I won't reveal what happens in the end, but get this DVD and see for yourself. I know I'm going to! This film is awesome, moving, and inspiring.
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