Nearly twenty years on, the contest is now a staple of ESPN and gets covered in real-time. I wonder how it would read now. As an educator, the whole thing makes me sad. I don't see children learning to use words to communicate their ideas or to explore the world - I see kids caught up in the goals of adults, barking on command. The film captures some of this, even if it pulls some punches.
An interesting look at American culture and the different tactics and strategies used by families and students hoping to win the National Spelling Bee. I'm glad I stuck this out as it got particularly exciting and nail biting towards the end as I wanted to find out who won. Surprisingly interesting.
Masterful editing is what makes 'Spellbound' an entertaining watch, as well as the entertaining personalities of the contestants and parents involved. Unfortunately, the film looks slightly dated now and could be improved with more interesting graphics and a less repetitive score.
Not the best documentary in the world, very slow but manages to cover an impossible to cover subject while staying interesting enough, not over decorating and showing different bits of US in the process. The expression of nationalism is on stunning in this film: nowhere but in the US seems to be the most collon phrase
I hate spelling. And why is there an excessive amountof cameras for a national spelling competition - you wouldn't see that at the national conkers showdown in the UK...
Great documentary though - fascinating insight into different ways of parenting the 'performing' or 'competitive' child.
An extraordinary and delightful film. I am sure there will be many cynics who would be critical of this shameless take on the all-American dream, but I loved it. This really did show what was good about the American way of life: hard work and dedication in open, classless competition yielding results. I loved the support from the parents. Compare this with the hostile world of the child beauty pageant!