Monday, January 25, 2010

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire


Precious is the story of a teenage girl, she's over weight, illiterate and she is pregnant with her second child (she got pregnant both times because her father raped her) and she has enrolled in an alternate school in the hopes of turning her life around. Meanwhile she has to deal with her abusive mother who just wants to get as much welfare off her as possible.

Precious is not exactly a happy film, in fact after I watched this I felt like my soul had been sucked out. That isn't to say this is not a good film, it is an excellent and well made film, it just isn't exactly a happy one. Precious is a sad story, but unfortunately her situation is not one of fiction. There are many teens out there in her situation or in a similar situation and something like this really aims to bring light to that and make people aware. I honestly can't imagine what I would do if I was in the situation that Precious was in. Her life really does suck, she has a horrible mother and her only escape is her fantasies. That really is until she gets kicked out from school (for being pregnant no less) but she gets recommended to go to an alternate school. She wants to learn and she wants to go to school, so behind her mothers back she goes. This is where her life starts to turn around, as she hesitantly learns to read and interact with others and come out of her shell.

Precious is played by new comer Gabourey Sidibe, she puts in such a fantastic performance I had a hard time believing this was her debut role. This girl just had all the right elements for the character and she embodied them. What a great find from the film makers, I really hope she goes on to other things, I would love to see more of her. The best actress nominations she has been receiving are certainly well deserved. She really does show this strong will with the character, something strong deep inside which keeps her going. Precious was not an easy role to play and it is awe inspiring that this newer did such a fantastic job. Paula Patton plays the teacher Ms. Rain at the alternate school, she was just a shining light here. Her relationship with Precious is a very important part of this story, and they had this perfect chemistry together. I don't think I have seen Paula in anything else but I sure would like to, again what a find she is! I really loved her in this, and her character brought a nice balance in.

Mo'Nique I am used to seeing in comedic roles, and I didn't mind her. But I certainly haven't seen her like this before, the character she plays as Precious mother Mary is one of the most disgusting characters. She is a brutal and vile woman, and I can't imagine this was an easy role to play. But boy does she pull it off and then some, you really want to smash this woman upside the head and take Precious away. Her final scenes in the film are really well done and Mo'Nique really blew me away. I have to say the awards she has won are well deserved. I really liked all the girls who played the classmates, they all came off as real and they had their moments. Mariah Carey has a small role, and she is alright. She wasn't in it much and she didn't have much to do but she at least proved she can do a decent job. I am not a fan of hers but I can admit when she does something right. Lenny Kravitz was also alright for the small role he had, but again it wasn't anything major and I can't imagine anyone screwing that up.

Precious is not an easy film to watch, but it is a reminder that life isn't always peachy. There are messages to be said here and there is something strangely uplifting about the film upon its conclusion. Be prepared to sit through something that really is sad, emotionally it is a draining film. However it is an extremely well made film, there is a fantastic use of colour and imagery. Some great direction by Lee Daniels, I was pretty impressed, especially how some of the more brutal scenes are handled and some flash backs as well. This is an impressive film and for me I think it set out to achieve its goal, I was moved by it. I haven't read the book it was based on, so I am not sure how it does compare. I felt it did have a strong script and the material was handled rather perfectly. Like the tag line says 'Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is....Precious.'

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