June 2, 2003

Spellbound Hype Explained

Third time's the charm here at Cinecultist. Two other times CC thought she might pop by the old Film Forum to catch up on this Spellbound movie (not the Hitchcock one where Gregory Peck's insane and Ingrid Bergman has to cure him) but it was sold out. As it finishes its run on Tuesday, CC bought a ticket online for a screening today after work and is now ready to report on the hype which has surrounded this little documentary.

The film follows eight middle school children who spend their every waking moment memorizing words for their local and regional spelling bees and are now on their way to the national competition in Washington D.C. The movie sells itself as slice of Americana with the children hailing from all sorts of regions, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds, but fortunately for CC's stomach, it doesn't partake in this Bush II-level hypocritical flag-waving sort of patriotism. You really have to admire the pluck and determination these kids have and surprisingly, the parents come across as mostly just supportive and not Mama Rose-esque. Actually, of all the kids I think I liked the spaz-y boy, Harry, who misspells "banns" the best. He keeps insisting that he missed it because the judge mispronounced the word for him.

In conclusion, lines around the block at Film Forum? Worth it.

Posted by karen at June 2, 2003 10:29 PM