In Harlem, an overweight, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child by her father is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
The film stars Gabourey Sidibe as Precious, with an incredible supporting role by Academy Award-winning actress Monique. The film was also nominated for best picture and best director to Lee Daniels, who steps out in this breakthrough film.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Daniels makes an incredibly bold movie because it speaks the truths we don’t want to hear. Women and girls like Precious, victims of rape, incest, physical and psychological abuse, live and breath in the communities we inhabit. There are dark places few people want to talk about, let alone sit in a theater and watch for a couple hours.
In this film, Daniels shows us an onyx-dark side of humanity. A place where a barely literate girl, held back in the eighth grade for years, is raped by her father and beaten by her mother, escapes her life with fantasy.
But it also shows us that human kind endures. In our darkest moments, we can rise.
Precious is the story of a girl with the world stacked against her, but she’s trying to go to school, get away from her abusive parents and create a life for her two children.
Monique steals every scene she’s in with a character so hideous and vile, you hope the movie just ends so you can walk out the theater. But sometimes we need to see the dark to appreciate the light.
Rating: 5 out of 10
It’s impossible not to be emotionally involved during this film. While some movies are delicate in the way they handle uncomfortable situations, this film grabs you by the face and rubs your nose in it again and again. It’s a heavy handed approach that is completely unflinching, which I respect, but does so to such lengths to stack the odds against the protagonist that I never felt a sense of hope at all. At the same time, what I dislike about the story is more than made up for by the performance of Mo’nique as Precious’ uncaring and selfish mother. She is such a fleshed out character with a total lack of empathy for her own child that she dominates the film. I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to this woman that made her this way. So, while I respect the well deserved Oscar performance, I can’t recommend this film. There has to be some light at the end of a tunnel when you’re dealing with a morbidly obese teenage girl who has two babies from being repeatedly raped by her own father who gave her AIDS.