Friday, December 25, 2009


I watched Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire on Christmas Day. It is not exactly a Christmas movie, but Precious was a great choice. The story is quite simple: a coming of age story of a young, obese, and illiterate African-American girl growing up in Harlem with an oppressive, sinister, and demanding mother. Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, is only 16 but is pregnant and forced to run her family; Precious has to cook, do the dishes, and get welfare checks while her mother, Mary, played by Mo'Nique, orders Precious around while watching television and chain smoking.

The film gets incredibly violent and heartwrenching as Mary verbally and physically abuses Precious. Despite her family conditions, Precious perseveres in becoming a more educated individual with the help of Miss Rain, played by Paula Patton, a kind and selfless special education teacher. Mariah Carey also has an interesting role in the film as a social worker who tries to help Precious.

What I liked about the film is the acting by Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique. Even though I have not yet seen other Golden Globe nominated films, I will be disappointed to see Sidibe or Mo'Nique walk away from the evening without a win. The two actresses make believable characters. By the end of the film, I was sincerely rooting for Precious and waiting for Mary's downfall.

This film brings the audience into a world that you might read in newspaper and see on the news about sexual and child abuse but never witness in real life. The acting in conjunction with the occasional documentary filming style make the film utterly authentic. It brings to light the grim reality that some children face in their homes and in life: illiteracy, poverty, and physical, sexual, & mental abuses.

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