No, it's not Hitchcock, but it's suspenseful anyhow. Filmmaker Jeffrey Blitz follows eight of the 249 finalists in the National Spelling Bee, from widely varied backgrounds, through the two-day competition in Washington, D.C., and the weeks of preparation leading up to it. Only a serviceable documentary technique, and a subpar DV image, but a surplus of human interest — touching and funny and at times a tad disturbing. 2003.

2.0 stars

— Duncan Shepherd

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