I have just returned from the screening of "Wordplay", Patrick Creadon's chronicle of the 2005 Stamford tournament. Creadon tells the story in two parts, by introducing us to the main players (Will Shortz, Merl Reagle, Tyler Hinman, Trip Payne, Al Sanders) and then chronicling the Stamford experience.
Creadon does a generally good job setting up the alternate dramas in the film, down to the little-seen "war room" where puzzles are scored and errors are winnowed out, such as the SDS/SSS slip-up which knocked Patrick Jordan out of a sure shot in the finals. And of course, the finals where Al Sanders made his famous _OL_ESQUE gaffe is played to the hilt. Cameo appearances range from the thoughtful insights of Indigo Girls to the "Bring it, Shortz!" ballsiness of Jon Stewart.
The film will quite possibly be a sleeper hit, as were the docs "March of the Penguins" and "Super Size Me", and should have quite a run off the DVD shelves. And the film did indeed resonate deeply with its core audience...hopefully more general audiences will tak to it as well.