Documentary Monday~~Spellbound



Awards–Won multiple film festival prizes and awards

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, 2003

Summary–This film follows eight children as they prepare for and compete in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

My Thoughts–I loved watching Spellbound!!  The National Spelling Bee is the perfect backdrop for a documentary because it has all the elements of a great movie.  There are great characters, heartwarming backstories, triumph, disappointment, and lots of suspense.  The filmmakers did a fantastic job of introducing us to all of the kids first, and then taking us to the competition, which made it that much more heartbreaking when one of them got eliminated.

As I was watching this, I realized just how hard these kids had to work.  Many of them admitted to studying for hours every day (and by hours, I mean like 5-8, not 2-3).  Man, those kids have more discipline than I could ever have.  And not only do these kids have to be disciplined and smart, but they have to have nerves of steel.

I have only taken part in one spelling bee during my life and it was at the county fair in my hometown.  I think I had to have been in 8th grade or something like that.  Now, I consider myself to be a pretty smart gal.  I graduated top of my class in high school and college, and that is nothing to sneeze at, but I totally sucked at the spelling bee.  I think it was only the second word I got that messed me up.  It was the word “title.”  Really pathetic, right?  I totally messed up “title” and “tidal” in my head and I think I spelled it “tidle.”  It was so embarrassing that I never went back to the county spelling bee.  I have so much respect for those kids who get up there and spell words that nobody has ever even heard of!  Also, spelling is easy when you can see the word written out, but having to list the letters out loud……don’t even think about it.

I can’t think about spelling bees now without thinking about one of my favorite Psych moments ever.  Just for kicks, here is Shawn impersonating the spellmaster in the 2nd episode of Psych.


Final Verdict–This is an awesome movie!  The only thing I didn’t like was that I knew that all of the kids couldn’t win.  Watching their disappointed little faces made me so sad 😦



5 Responses to “Documentary Monday~~Spellbound”

  1. 1 Diana April 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    This is one of my favorite documentaries! The kid who’s featured prominently on the cover was great fun to watch.

  2. 2 ngtjennifer April 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I forgot to mention this in the blog, but there is a fantastic “Where are they now?” feature on the DVD. There is a little picture of each kid and a brief description of what they are doing. It was really cool to see how all of the kids grew up. I remember being really impressed with how mature the kid on the cover ended up looking.

  3. 3 Abby April 12, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Okay, my favorite part of this movie is the Indian kid whose rich father is paying like a thousand people in India to pray for him and he almost misses a word with Indian roots. 😀

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