Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Not the Alfred Hitchcock thriller; this film follows 8 finalists in the National Spelling Bee from their homes to the final competition in Washington DC. Tears you up because, personally, I was rooting for 5 of the 8, and you knew there could only be one winner. These were such incredibly bright kids, and they worked so hard. One girl, from a ranch in Texas, had a father who couldn’t even speak English. Another had every imaginable advantage, his father came from India and had paid to have 1000 people back home chanting for his son to win, among many, many other stratagems. His win-at-any-cost philosophy had me and Lee heartily hating him; the father, not the son, who seemed decent enough. But I was happy to see him lose, just to piss off the dad.