Spellbound (Think-Film, 2002). Imagine a reality show where the competitors are sweet, quirky folks who don't sleep around or slander each other's good name and where you find yourself cheering for them all. This is Jeffrey Blitz's documentary about eight students at the 1999 National Spelling Bee.
In Blitz's engrossing, nail-biting, and wonderfully sympathetic film we watch Angela, April, Ashley, Emily, Harry, Napur, Nell, and Ted prepare for the event by pouring over dictionaries until their pupils dilate, and then stand helplessly (and hopefully) in the wings as they face off against 250 others and a bag of impossible words. There are no losers here. ****