Saturday, July 17, 2010

Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Precious is one of those rare films where you don't just finish it entertained, but rather changed. The film centers around a 16 year old girl named Precious, played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, who lives a very hard life. Her mother, played by Mo'Nique, abuses her constantly both physically and emotionally. Her father molested her and is now pregnant with her second child by him. After her school becomes aware of her newest pregnancy they kick Precious out and send her to a school for troubled girls. Even through all of the hardship she faces, Precious still manages to pick herself back up time and time again. I have never seen the message of 'make the best with what you got' presented so strongly.

The acting in this film’s cast is terrific throughout the whole film. Mo'Nique’s performance as the abusive mother is amazing and well deserving of the Oscar she won for it. For being her first movie, Gabourey Sidibe showed tremendous range. In some scenes you can feel her vulnerability and in others she commands the screen with her strength. Most surprising to me was the performances of Mariah Carey as the social worker, Ms. Weiss, and Lenny Kravitz as Nurse John. I wish more musicians who wish to act, would do so in this manner then to be the center piece in a bad movie, i.e. Glitter.

This is the second film by Lee Daniels and should guarantee him the ability to direct more pictures. He will have a long career, if he can produce films of this depth. However, the camera work needs some improvement. It pulled me out of the moment at certain points when there would be a sharp focus change. It gives it a documentary feel, but is totally not needed. It is minor gripe in what is otherwise a very powerful film. This isn't an easy film to watch, but still deserves the effort. You will be better off because of it.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5

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