Precious

precious 202x300 - PreciousI went to see Precious expecting to tear up during the first scene and go through a box of tissues by the ending, but the trailer gave the wrong impression of this movie. And that is a very good thing. Yes, Precious, the 16 year old heroine of this story, is obese, functionally illiterate, expecting her second child by her father, and is constantly beaten and abused by her mother as Precious opens, but these smart filmmakers have crafted a story that handles all of this with a warm compliment of humor that doesn’t negate the horror, only makes it all the more real.

Precious could easily have slipped into a movie-of-the-week story as Precious finds herself saved by a bright and beautiful teacher in an alternative school, replete with a small class of misfits. But Lee Daniels’ direction keeps it away from cliché and melodrama, and the comic moments seem totally organic to the story. Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe who plays Precious will undoubtedly get a lot of well deserved attention for this role. This girl is at the bottom of the hopeless barrel, but her rich interior life, her fantasies of her light skinned boyfriend and her fabulous red carpet turns, sustains her through the worst of it.

Comedienne Mo’Nique as the monster of a mother is amazing; I see some nominations in her future as well. But she has been given great material to work with. MV5BMTMxNTMzNTQ0MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTQ2ODM5Mg@@. V1. SX600 SY338  300x169 - PreciousThe script by Geoffrey Fletcher adapted from Sapphire’s Push moves the story along at just the right pace and balances the nearly too hard to take with some sweet breathing room, and even at close to two hours running time, it flew by.

When I read that Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and (especially) Sherri Shepherd and had roles in the film, I was not expecting much, but they are all very good actors; in fact, I was really surprised how good Mariah was.

I saw Precious at a film festival and I don’t think it is in wide release yet, but if it is near you, go. It is a wonderful film. You should bring a tissue or two, but be prepared to laugh, as well.

You might like to read the book, too, though I hear it is even more brutal.

4 Comments

  1. Adventurous Chick, November 15, 2009:

    I’m so glad to hear it wasn’t a ten hankie movie. I, too, was thinking that I’d have to bring a whole box of kleenex with me to make it through. Now I’m even more excited to see it.

  2. Mainstream Chick, November 15, 2009:

    Same here. It’s on my must-see list. And I’ll still take a half-box of kleenex… just to be safe!

  3. Anne, January 2, 2010:

    Just saw this movie last night and was blown away by the acting. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that most of these people were plucked off the street and playing themselves. The moments of humor are a welcome respite from the other, mostly miserable, scenes of this girls’s life. In general, this movie is a good commentary on the resilience some people have to get them through unbearable situations.

  4. Mainstream Chick, March 6, 2010:

    So, it’s the night before the Oscars and I FINALLY watched this movie. It’s an interesting and powerful flick and I can see why Mo’Nique is nominated (she’s certainly come a long way since our high school days in Baltimore!). It’s definitely the role of a lifetime for her. I suspect she may just be a “one-hit wonder” though. Time (and movie roles) will tell. Same goes for Gabby Sidibe. Personally, I prefer to see the acting Oscars go to folks who prove their range in a variety of roles and then knock it out of the park in a particularly good Oscar-worthy movie. Too many really good actors with amazing range never get the nod, and that just doesn’t seem fair. (I know, I know – life isn’t fair). That said, I think Mo’Nique will win.

    I make no secret of the fact that when I go to the movies, I generally prefer ‘entertaining escapist’ fare. “Precious” doesn’t fit that mold. It’s a tough one to classify. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just not ‘my’ thing. That’s why I’m “Mainstream Chick”! I’ve had enough harsh reality for one night. Bring on Avatar!

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