Set in Harlem in 1987, claireece "Precious" Jones is a 16-year-old African American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother, an angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is chaotic and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and a secret..she can't read.
Log in to post a review.
This sad but ultimately hopeful film gives us a glimpse into the life of a teenager named Precious, whose tragic upbringing is all-too-familiar for millions of young girls worldwide. Pregnant for a second time, still in the 8th grade despite her age, illiterate, and the victim of abusive parents, Precious deals with her pain by fantasizing about everything she wishes she could be while she struggles to make a better life for herself and her children.
The acting in this movie was superb -- even Mariah Carey, whose acting skills have often been criticized as being luke-warm at best, manages to deliver a convincing performance. The actresses who play Precious and her mother are the standouts, however. Both deserve some serious recognition from the movie industry.
The story itself captures your full attention, dragging you into Precious' life, involving you in her pain from the moment the film begins. It is difficult not to be moved by the struggles the protagonist faces as she tries to find her place in the world. Great plot, great writing and a great story overall.
I highly recommend that you see this film, although it isn't for the faint of heart. This is one of the few that manage to live up to the hype.
At The Movies
Precious (14A) * * * *
By ROBERT WALDMAN
Tears won’t remain dry for long for anyone watching Precious. Based on the acclaimed novel Push that book could well have been called “shove” as mistreatment provides the cornerstone to this highly charged Maple Pictures release now awakening people at Tinseltown (on Pender, free parking) and the Fifth Avenue Cinemas. Rightful Oscar nomination nods sure seem likely for some of the performers in this stark, brutal film.
Not having read too much publicity on this story from the outset, let’s hope the movie is not based on real events. At the heart of this tale is a young 16 year old girl named Precious. First time actress Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe makes a stunning unforgettable debut as a girl from the ghetto facing unbelievable pain. Harlem is the setting in 1987 where we encounter Precious living with her mom, Mary. Cast as Mary is Mo’Nique (Soul Plane) who’s character here likely will set back daughter/mother relationships for decades.
What goes on inside the small, run down skid row apartment where Precious and her mom live is horrific and absolutely heartbreaking. Director Lee Daniels mounts a no holds barred recounting of some horrible events that make this 16 year old girl a victim of extreme brutality, violence and coercion. Domestic violence is a huge issue and this movie brings it home front and centre for all to experience. It’s not a pretty sight.
Even though Precious at home experiences a life not fit for a dog during her out of apartment hours she somehow manages to pick herself up in an effort to move forward. Uphill battles persist for this down on her luck teen. Adults who encounter her at school suspect something may be up and a move to a new educational centre seems to give her a new lease on life.
Tactful direction and a non-syrupy presentation make Precious superior drama that takes on some very hard issues and does not relent. Encounters this mother and daughter have are riveting and you can sense the huge tension in this household thanks to a very impressive presentation by both Ms. Sidibe and Mo’Nique. Put these two in a room and watch out as the situation truly becomes explosive.
Lighter moments, and there are few in this 110 minute movie, involve Precious taking up at a new school where a teacher tries to find out the truth of her sad situation. Underrated actress Paula Patton (Swing Vote) shows just the right degree of care and compassion as Ms. Rain, a teacher whose agenda seems to have a nurturing component that’s exactly what this tough, misdirected girl from the ghetto sorely needs. Frank exchanges with other students further adds to the gritty atmosphere depicted here as do the diverse characters that form a nice microcosm of disadvantaged youth from different backgrounds. Tough language further fleshes out the realistic tone of this movie which is sad and thought-provoking.
Keen observers will also notice two secondary characters played by two musical superstars. Both Mariah Carey (Glitter) and Lenny Kravitz (in his film debut) show lots of poise as individuals who come across Precious at rather trying stages in her life.
Chalk full of tough subjects Precious is one film you soon won’t forget. Made with the help of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry expect Precious to be heard loudly come Academy Awards time next year.
Read more reviews by Robert at www.moviereviewssite.com