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Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire (2009)

Gabourey Sidibe , Mo'Nique , Lee Daniels  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (355 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique
  • Directors: Lee Daniels
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (355 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002VECM4A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,611 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio commentary with director Lee Daniels
From Push to Precious
A "Precious" Ensemble
Oprah and Tyler: A Project of Passion
A Conversation with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels
Deleted Scene: The Incest Survivor Meeting
Gabourey Sidibe audition
Reflections on Precious

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Not every movie can survive the kind of hype--multiple awards at Sundance and other festivals, rapturous reviews, nominated for six Academy Awards and winner of two, for Best Supporting Actress and Best Screenplay--that greeted the release of Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire, but this extraordinary piece of work is more than up to the task. What's particularly notable about the film's success and acclaim is that in the beginning, at least, it presents one of the grimmest scenarios imaginable. The scene is Harlem, New York, in 1987. Teenager Clarisse Precious Jones (played by newcomer Gabourey Sibide in an absolutely fearless performance) is dirt poor, morbidly obese, semiliterate, and pregnant for the second time--both courtesy of her own father (the first baby was born with Down syndrome). Her home life is several levels below Hell, as her bitter, vengeful welfare mother, Mary (Mo'Nique, in a role that has generated legitimate Oscar® buzz), abuses her both physically and otherwise (telling Precious she should have aborted her is only the worst of a relentless flood of insults and vitriol). Yet somehow, the young woman still has hopes and dreams (depicted in a series of delightful fantasy sequences). She enrolls in an alternative school, where a young teacher (Paula Patton) takes her under her wing and even into her home, and visits a social worker (an excellent Mariah Carey; fellow pop star Lenny Kravitz is also effective as a male nurse) who further helps bring Precious out of the darkness. Incredibly, Precious's circumstances deteriorate even more before showing the slightest sign of improvement, and a climactic confrontation with her mother is one of the more wrenching scenes in recent memory. But against all odds, director Lee Daniels, screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher (working from Sapphire's novel), and especially the wondrously affecting Sibide have managed to make Precious a film that will lift the viewer far higher up that one might ever have thought possible. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Precious Jones, an inner-city high school girl, is illiterate, overweight, and pregnant…again. Naïve and abused, Precious responds to a glimmer of hope when a door is opened by an alternative-school teacher. She is faced with the choice to follow opportunity and test her own boundaries. Prepare for shock, revelation and celebration.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
166 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truly superlative acting and a thought-provoking topic November 24, 2009
Perhaps "thought provoking" isn't the right phrase to use. This movie will whip you about and leave you breathless, most especially if you've never really considered the plight of children/people like Precious.

I have been teaching adult students for a little over ten years now, and I have had many women whose backgrounds were similar to Precious' background, so the subject matter wasn't new to me. I expected to be moved, but I didn't expect to have to struggle to stop crying after the movie was over.

The movie is about a teenager named Precious (a truly ironic name, as she is told and shown repeatedly that she is NOT precious to anyone in her immediate circle) and the horrific circumstances of her life at the age of 16. She is pregnant with her second child, the product of incest (her "father" rapes her, a fact which her mother chooses instead to see as Precious threatening her by taking away her man and giving him more babies than he ever allowed the mom to have), and she is barely holding together some semblance of a normal life by keeping her true circumstances from everyone around her.

When her school principal becomes aware of her pregnancy, she decides to send Precious to an alternative school, and for the first time, the teenager has an opportunity to see her own potential and to have that potential respected by others. It's a truly life-altering opportunity, and Precious takes it.

What's really amazing in this film is the excellence of the acting. You've likely heard time and time again how Mariah Carey doesn't wear makeup and looks haggard and old, and you've probably heard about Monique's superb turn as Precious' mother. What can't be conveyed without you actually watching the movie is what all that means.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
To my surprise, this soul-baring 2009 drama is neither as painful nor depressing as the subject matter would imply. In fact, director Lee Daniels' treatment alternates so fluently between gritty realism, social uplift, and fanciful episodes of fantasy that the end result is as much enthralling as it is emotionally draining. First-time screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher does a solid job adapting the 1996 source novel by Sapphire, Push, but the strength and honesty of the cast is what sears in the memory. Daniels could have been otherwise charged with stunt casting had he not drawn out such powerhouse work from the out-of-left-field likes of comedienne Mo'Nique and pop diva Mariah Carey. Granted Daniels in his second directorial effort is not the most subtle of filmmakers (his first film was the strangely exotic Shadowboxer), but he does bring a level of florid passion that the subject desperately needs to alleviate the unrelenting bleakness of the title character's existence.

Set in Harlem in 1987, the story centers on sixteen-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones, a morbidly obese girl so void of self-worth that she refers to herself without irony as "ugly black grease to be washed from the street". Nearly illiterate, she finds herself pregnant for the second time by her father, and the school principal arranges to enroll Precious at an "alternative" institution. She recognizes this as an opportunity to better herself, but her mother Mary discourages it and forces Precious to apply for welfare.
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and real November 8, 2009
This movie shows the reality of lives that are affected by incest and where choice seems a fairy tale. Both of Precious' parents are locked in a life of immorality and illegality and have no way out. Precious too seems headed down that road but for the intervention of her principal that moves her to an alternative school where she can get individual attention and where her past does not have to swallow her. Much abusive language but the effect puts the viewer into Precious' life so that you too can experience the threats and put downs. Not for the faint hearted but more films like this are needed to awake the world to the effects of incest and ridicule. First class acting throughout. A must see really! It is ironic that all of the people I know named Precious have had lives that attempted to stunt their development. What's in a name?
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly the "feel good film" of the year December 6, 2009
By J. Ryan
With the many nominations and awards Precious is likely to receive this year, I'm fairly confident "feel-good movie of the year" won't be one of them. This film pulls no punches, and given the path it could have taken in trying to gloss up bleak and violent subject matter into a more thrilling and stylized type drama (see Slumdog Millionaire), I commend this movie for sticking to its guns.

The driving force behind this movie is the unyielding performance of Mo'Nique, who plays Precious's verbally and physically abusive mother, Mary. I would be very surprised not to see her name in the Best Supporting Actress ballot this year. Gabourey Sidibe, in the role of Precious, also delivers a tender and heartbreaking performance as an obese, illiterate 16-year old who has suffered from a lifetime of brutality and neglect. Even Mariah Carey (yes, that Mariah Carey) does a very good job in her small role as a sympathetic yet hard-nosed social worker trying to get Precious to finally open up about her violent and trauma filled home life.

It's some of the little things in this film that really make it work. For instance, there is a scene about halfway through the film where Precious is sitting in her hospital room after recently giving birth to her second child. Her life outlook at this point is nothing short of dreadful, yet surrounded by her friends from class and her doctor who proves to be one of the few people in her life who actually care about her, Precious seems to be genuinely happy for the first time in her life.

While Lee Daniels directing proves to be very erratic at times, the strengths of lead performances are what really carry this movie along. While I wouldn't call it a masterpiece like many other seem to be doing, Precious is still a very good film that takes a gritty and honest look into the life of a child succumbed to a lifetime of physical and mental abuse.

-Jeffrey Ryan

[...]
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie - but make sure you buy the right one!!!
The full title of this film is "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." This is a useful distinction, because in any given year, or so I imagine, at least several... Read more
Published 3 days ago by J. Nathanson
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a remarkable story about a girl who came ...
This was a remarkable story about a girl who came from a very traumatic family life and how she got pregnet and how she dealt with eveything and still going to school with baby in... Read more
Published 5 days ago by S. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
picture nice and clear! very entertaining.
Published 22 days ago by Patricia Paskell
5.0 out of 5 stars I was surprised!
This is an extremely violent, extremely disheartening, and an extremely triumphant film. All of the actors in this film does a wonderful job to pull you into the unusualiy,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by krankenhaus 63
4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD MOVIE WELL WORTH WATCHING
This was a good movie. It was very engaging from start to finish. Well acted and directed. It gets your emotions up particulary to think that this really happens. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Peter Raymond
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough but good
A sad but ultimately uplifting tail. The lead is terrific. Shows a tougher side of life. See it with a glass of wine.
Published 1 month ago by C
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I cry everytime I see this movie. The actors are so good. The storyline so strong. I loved it. Great to have in your library of movies to share with family and friends.
Published 1 month ago by sidekick
1.0 out of 5 stars nasty discusting movie
this was so disappointing................ it was so nasty... shows father molesting her... don't waste you money... they must of said mf and gd 100 in 10 min
Published 1 month ago by John Stalec Jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Movie is great
It was delivered timely and I enjoyed the movie. I dont go to the movies much so I usually buy the videos long after they're out. No problems with the purchase whatsoever !!
Published 2 months ago by ILoveGod
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear Renching
Talk about a hard life, this child was born with catchers mitt's on each hand. I never got up or left the screen, not once. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kimberly Hargrove
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