Who would have thought that the toughest, most rousing and suspenseful of all televised competitions would revolve around a bunch of 14 year-old honor students who are hooked on words? “Spellbound,” the highly praised, Academy Award-nominated film, proves that the annual National Spelling Bee, now a highly rated event on ESPN, is just that — a breath-bating, nail-biting face-off among hundreds of teens who train as rigorously as any Olympic athlete and who are every bit as heroic in their quest for glory. Following kids of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds, the film hones in on eight regional finalists as they gather in Washington D.C. for the bee-all and end all — the national championship. Their journeys elicit equal measures of amusement, heartbreak, empathy, and awe, and reconfirm, yet again, that the American Dream is still alive and well.
“Spellbound” plays at 7 p.m. October 3 and 4 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 5. Rated G, its running time is 96 minutes. RJ Rapoza, arts enrichment coordinator at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES and administrator for the Wayne-Finger Lakes Regional Spelling Bee, will lead a discussion following the Saturday screening.