Akeelah and the Bee was something a little different. Actual PEOPLE! Oh my God, people! In a mildly more realistic setting. Okay, even more than mildly. Then ooooo... character flaws! Okay, so once again there's only broken families, but then given that that is still fairly likely to happen, I don't have too much beef with that.
But then it became a work of language. Rich, deep, colorful language that just grabbed me by my poetry brain, the clouds of meanings brain and I was like oh! THAT's why anyone on God's Green Earth might enter a bee.
I love words. I really do. I hate spelling them, with a passion. I am, somehow, completely messed up for spelling them. I did great on the English SATs by doing some of the same drills the Professor does with Akeelah, but I didn't do them to spell them, I did them to comprehend them, use them, abuse them, and I use them now, professionally, to persuade, question, and conjole folks into doing the things that I believe we need to do and lend me their brains to help do it. I still, however, can't, for the life of me, spell them. My husband is kind and helps me with forming them, and I lean on spell checkers and grammar checkers for dear life.
So, by the latter parts of the movie I was in awe. Not just of the spellers, but also of the delicious two-step of the plot, especially at the end.
Go see it if you love the English language. It has in it, twice, my most favorite quote ever.
There's no violence, nothing flashy, not a single special effect. It has a kid in a hard, realistic situation, and that's all that's needed. I loved the storytelling and actually cried through most of it. But then I always cry at courage...