1 hour 49 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for pervasive harsh profanity, brief strong sexuality, some violence, intense themes
DVD Features: Audio commentary with director Lee Daniels; "From Push to Precious" featurette; "A Precious Ensemble" featurette; "Oprah and Tyler: Project of Passion" featurette; A conversation with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels; Deleted scene: "The Incest Survivor Meeting"; Audition: Gabourey Sidibe; Reflections on Precious.
Gabourey Sidibe ... Precious
Mo'Nique ... Mary
Paula Patton ... Ms. Rain
Mariah Carey ... Mrs. Weiss
Sherri Shepherd ... Cornrows
Lenny Kravitz ... Nurse John
Stephanie Andujar ... Rita
Chyna Layne ... Rhonda
Amina Robinson ... Jermaine
|This is the story of Claireece "Precious" Jones (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe), an overweight, sixteen-year-old African-American girl who is still in junior high school in Harlem. She's already had her first child, born with Down syndrome, and is
technically in her mother's custody, but she is actually cared for by both her
grandmother and her mother, Mary (Mo’Nique "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins"),
a poisonously angry woman who abuses her daughter emotionally and physically, hating her for "stealing" her man. But the truth is that Precious was raped by her father; twice.
Precious is sent by her principal
to an alternative school populated by other girls who dropped out or were kicked out of public
schools for various reasons. The teacher, Ms. Rain (Paula Patton "Hitch"), is dedicated to her work and she is perhaps the first adult to ever take a
genuine interest in helping her new student. The other girls might be
Precious' first friends, as well.
This ucompromising story was brilliantly directed by the producer of "Monster's Ball" Lee Daniels ("Shadowboxer") who boldly and confidently conveys
Precious' stark situation without dwelling on the sordid details. It
helps that Precious tends to retreat into her imagination, giving
Daniels a way to escape from the realities of the situation. Gabourey Sidibe's
performance as Precious is perfectly
authentic, without a hint of contrivance. It's the sort of debut
that will either be followed by a fantastic career, or possibly you may never see her again. But she's not the only reason to see this movie. There's Mo'Nique, in an unforgettable performance who helps us
understand Precious' mother's frame of mind without making her
any way sympathetic, rock musician Lenny Kravitz, who plays the nurse who bonds with Precious after she delivers her baby, and
R&B singer-songwriter Mariah Carey ("WiseGirls"), who's almost unrecognizably un-glamorous, but perfect, as a social worker.
This poignant, gritty socially conscious story is also punctuated throughout with warm humor, but it's the feeling of hopefulness, not its awfulness that you'll take along with you after watching this harrowing, but unforgettable film. It's surely one of the best of the year!