Akeelah and the Bee
I finally caught this on DVD, and this is a very, very solid movie, that just does everything right.
For every slightly-formulaic moment, there's another scene that's a surprise. Mostly it's just good writing, and acting.
And you have to love a movie that's concerned with the inspirational power of just letting yourself be smart, and how that affects those around you.
The writer-director is Doug Atchison, who won a Nicholl Fellowship in 2000 for this screenplay.
Rent it. One of the best movies of the year.