There is a reason why Precious has been getting so many rave reviews and swept up all the awards this year. It is a hard hitting drama that shows us the shocking truth that we all fail to focus on.
We know that they are young girls living with abuse but the first scene in which Precious is attacked by her father, you are so thankful for the escapist scenes that she creates in her mind because you know your strong enough to handle the full horror of it.
Based on the equally gritty novel, Push by the Harlem poet and author Sapphire, the film is based on the life of an obese teenage girl living in Harlem. Precious is still in junior school at sixteen with a baby girl by her father and another on the way.
That’s the beauty of this film. Director Lee Daniels has made this production very blunt, dropping you straight into the middle of Precious’ world, whether you like it or not. He doesn’t have the time to hide reality from you and he has quite rightly been praised for taking this approach.
One thing that Precious is good at is Maths, she likes education but then we discover why she finds it so hard move up. Thank to a teacher at an alternative school called Blu Rain – Paula Patton, who you look at with love and awe – Precious is finally allowed to develop and grow, allowed to feel like she is ‘here’. This film has proven to me yet again that we need teachers to care for students; they are not only educators but also voluntary social workers because they have the power to help.
It’s the girls at the alternative school that bring some humour into the movie, making sure it isn’t all doom and gloom. While these girls have their own problems, the growth from bitchy comments to actual concern for each other warms the heart. But the Rhonda, the Jamaican and oh-so-confident Joanne help to bring some laughter not only to us but to Precious’ life.
When Mo’Nique hits the screen, you forget about the big bubbly woman who we see in films and TV shows. Here she is a monster that beats her daughter for ‘stealing her man’. She becomes a character so monstrous that you are scared whenever she is on the screen. When she finally cracks and breaks down and reveals the truth of what Precious has been through, she manages to show the emotional turmoil of a woman that is so rare to fully capture. Mo’Nique deserved her Oscar because I can imagine that playing a mother who gets her own daughter to satisfy her sexually would have made her push herself in a whole new way. It has to be the most powerful part of the film and I believe the reason why people are leaving the cinema’s so moved by it.
Gabourey Sidibe has come storming into the Hollywood scene with her pure performance in which she masters the look of passivism that you could at first mistake for amateur acting until there is a moment where Precious feels happy and her smile fully transforms her face and warms your heart.
Precious is a must see movie and shows some actresses giving the best performance of their lives.