Movie Reviews: Precious




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     Lionsgate (1 hr. 49 min.)
     An overweight, illiterate African-American teen in Harlem, whose about to give birth to her second child, is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher helps her find a new path in her life.
     Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Gabourey Sidibe, Sherri Shepard, Lenny Kravitz
Bottom Line:

Kalilah Shelton

“Precious” is an inspiring film, based on the book Push by Sapphire that literally strips away the façade that many serious movies tend to hide behind.  The script, written by Geoffrey Jones, forces the stars of the film to open up and show real emotions.

The film tells the story of Clareece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) an illiterate, over-weight pregnant teen who is expecting her second child.  Precious is put into an alternative high school, where she not only learns to read, but also learns through the actions of her teacher, and fellow students that she has something to offer the world.

Which is a difficult task living with her mother Mary (Mo’Nique) who is using Precious and her children for Welfare checks, and who uses every chance to tear Precious down and make her feel like less of a person.  If anyone questions whether Mo’Nique is just a comedian, she truly shows her dramatic acting chops in the film. Her performance is chilling. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is amazing to watch as Precious. She’s reminiscent of a young Hattie McDaniel. Thanks to director Lee Daniels, who skillfully directed the film’s traffic so that Sidibe's extraordinary performance becomes brutally plausible. We believe her character.

The film follows Precious through the last few months of her pregnancy with six other downtrodden girls learning to read and to find their self worth. As the film unfolds it’s discover that Precious’ father is the father of both of her children. He has been molesting Precious for most of her life. Precious’ mother, in her twisted logic, blames Precious for stealing her father away from her. This is where Precious gets her skewed view of what love really is, and it takes her alternative school teacher (Paula Patton), the nurse (Lenny Kravitz) who helped her give birth to her child and her social worker (Mariah Carey) to show Precious what true love is.

“Precious” will have the audience looking inside themselves to discover what is truly important, and who is their real family, because at times it is whom you bring into your life, not your blood relatives who are real family.



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