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Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire [Blu-ray]
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Precious Jones; an inner-city high school girl; is illiterate; overweight; and pregnant... again. Nave 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.
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
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
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Top customer reviews
Mariah Carey is also great in her role, a social worker for the department of social services. The students and teacher also give great performances and help us to understand how the system treats people and how welfare is a form of enslavement.
Set in the late 80's it also shows how little things have changed and how the system remains broken
You can read what the film is about in the description, so I won't repeat the plot here. I will say this: the acting, direction, screenplay adaptation, soundtrack, and overall production all set a platinum standard of excellence in film-making. To say that acting newcomer Gaborey Sidibe did a great job in her first professional acting role would be an understatement. She knocked it out of the ballpark! I will be very upset if I don't see her in future films, as she has definitely shown that she has the chops to succeed as an actress.
Comedienne Mo'Nique... well... what can you say about her, except that her performance left me with emotional blisters!? I absolutely love seeing performers known for one particular zenre (in her case, comedy) take a chance and "flip the script" on the audience by not only taking on a role that we're not used to seeing them in, but milk it for all its worth. This is exactly what Mo'Nique does in this film; her performance is brilliant, monstrous and downright frightening all at the same time. She didn't play it safe in this role as Mary, the welfare mother from Hell. She went for broke and it paid off in spades. No wonder she scooped up every "Best Supporting Actress" award in the world during the 2009 awards season leading up to her win at the Oscars. She deserved every one of them.
The supporting cast (including Mariah Carey, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravits, Sherri Sheppard) all beautifully contribute to one of the most heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories ever put on the silver screen. "Precious" is high-quality film-making at its finest.
Most recent customer reviews
No wonder they are all failing and of not much use in todays world.Read more