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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire (2009)


Not quite what I was expecting.

Viciously abused by her mother (Mo’Nique) and pregnant by her father, Harlem teen Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) has an unexpected chance at a different life when she enrolls in an alternative school. Teacher Blu Rain (Paula Patton) encourages her, but Precious must battle unimaginable barriers everywhere in her life. Lee Daniels directs his drama that features appearances by Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz.

So I’ve been basically wanting to see this film forever, and now that I finally have got to, I’m just wondering what all this crazy buzz is about.

The film is highly grim. This poor girl’s life is just so upsetting and miserable that at times it was just hard to watch. I mean just the idea of this girl having her 2nd daughter from her father, byt then her mom being the biggest bitch ever, makes us feel even worse.

Lee Daniels brings an almost psychedelic quality to the film through Precious’ eyes as a way of escapism from the cruelty of life. But where there is pain, there is always hope and this is why the movie evolves into a harrowing film where education brings Precious acceptance, independence, and hope for a better life.

The only problem was that I didn’t feel any emotional strife to this film like everybody was talking about. I felt bad for this girl and wanted her to do better, but I wasn’t so into it. I feel like the film dives too much into the grim reality of things without showing more of how Precious gets a long with her life.

The message at the end of the film didn’t really look like it fit in this film. The portrayal, though powerful, of these people I felt like they were a bit stereotypical. Always saying the n-word, or just being down right dirty didn’t look like it was doing anything right for African Americans.

Sidibe gives the performance that most shy actors would over-play, but instead when she loses control of her emotions, oh she really does. The best here however is Mo’Nique. She gives the most riveting and scariest performance I have seen in a long time from any star. She is filled with so much hate and anger, that every time she was exploding I was so afraid of what she was doing. The other performances from Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz are actually pretty good, and make good supporting roles.

Consensus: Precious is a grim but sometimes lively tale filled with imagination, and great performances from its cast, but doesn’t succeed fully with its ending and message.

8.5/10=Matinee!!!

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3 responses to “Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire (2009)

  1. mcarteratthemovies January 26, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    You’re dead right about Mo’Nique — Gabourey Sidibe is good, but Mo’Nique? I never use this cliche, but it applies here: Her performance is a tour de force. I don’t know where she found all this talent, but I hope she keeps finding it. And let us all pray that she never, ever goes back to crap like “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins” again.

  2. Branden January 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    I would surprised that you gave this movie a 8.5. You said that you didn’t feel anything for the main character. I thought it was a good film. It’s not flawless, but very powerful piece.

  3. Marshall February 2, 2010 at 5:27 am

    SPOILERS
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    I loved the ending – not necessarily her walking off into the sunset with her two children in hand. There was a beautiful moment right before she walks into the social worker’s office where Precious looks into the mirror. Previously, she saw what she wanted to see – a skinny white woman. But when she looks this time, she sees herself. That is the true victory, the true triumph of Precious – she has gained confidence in herself.
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    SPOILERS

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