‘Spellbound’ reflects drama of spelling bees

-A A +A
By Kelly Dolejsi

The kids in “Spellbound,” next up in Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series, study for hours every day, ever driven to reach their goal of memorizing the spelling of every word in the English language — or if not every word, at least whichever ones they are asked to spell at the Scripps Howard national spelling bee in Washington D.C.
Spelling isn’t all that interesting to most people and yet, watching these eight teens and pre-teens with their flashcards, dictionaries and indefatigable parents is completely absorbing.
The 2002 Oscar-nominated documentary follows the eight through regional spelling bees right up through the national championship.
Viewers see them not only with their massive word lists, but interacting with their families and friends in their homes and between rounds at the big bee.
Part of the movie’s charm is that you end up rooting for everyone and biting your fingernails every time any kid, even one you don’t “know,” steps up to the microphone. It’s easy to get caught up in the action.
Spelling might not initially sound riveting and yet, the final rounds feel just as tense and cutthroat as any other serious competition.
What’s the final word?
Can you spell it?

If you subscribe to the newspaper, you receive FREE access to all the exclusive content of the web site! Simply register to receive uninterrupted access to our award-winning and in-depth local online content!

Renew Current or Past Subscription / Register for Online Subscription

If you currently subscribe or have subscribed in the past to the Los Alamos Monitor, then simply find your account number on your mailing label and enter it below.

Click the question mark below to see where your account ID appears on your mailing label.

Newspaper Acct. ID:
Street Address:
(exactly as it appears on the label)

If you are a subscriber and you do not know your account ID or don't have a copy of your newspaper available that shows the information on the address label you can click continue below to search for your account.

New Subscription/30 Day Free Trial Account

If you are new to the award winning Los Alamos Monitor and wish to get a subscription or simply gain access to our online content then please enter your ZIP code below and continue to setup your account.

ZIP Code:

Create a limited access account.
Register to participate in community forums, post on the community calendar, blog etc. This registration does not give you full access to read our award winning content, etc.

The Los Alamos Monitor | lacirculation@lamonitor.com | 505-662-4185
256 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544
Office Hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday