Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
PRECIOUS is about a severely overweight, African American 16-year-old girl by the same name (Gabourey Sidibe, who gives a phenomenally brave performance) living in Harlem. She is pregnant with her second child from her missing father. She has been raised in a brutally abusive household by her terrifyingly evil mother (Mo’Nique). Precious knows no other way of life other than being hurt and unloved. She has recently been kicked out of school but introduced to an Alternative School, where her teacher (Paula Patton) teaches her how to read and write along with support and care, giving Precious her first glimpse of kindness in her traumatizing life.
This is a heart-wrenching story. The awfulness that happens to this poor girl should not be wished upon anyone. I’ll admit I was horrified and teared up on more than one occasion. Definitely a story worth telling and it personally opened up my eyes. I admit I can sometimes be slightly judgmental and get it irritated towards someone that is excessively overweight, does not attempt to educate oneself, or generally doesn’t help themselves when it needs to be done, specifically leaving physically or emotionally abusive relationships. Precious taught me that there are definitely circumstances that I am not aware of, that I could never understand. They have only been taught destructive ways of living where logic does not exist.
The other thing that stood out to me is the kindness by others not involved. They are better people than me and I pray I could be as giving and accepting as these people. Don’t get me wrong, I have cyncical beliefs and think people can be more enabling if they are too accepting and giving such as the grandmother in the story rather than good. However, the people in this story have patience that I only which I could obtain.
The acting is very well done. The three leads are stand out performances. I don’t know what their future work will be like but as far as the characters they play in this particular film they do it fantastically. In retrospect, I do think sometimes the film and performances felt like they were thinking of making that Academy Award winning scene but even with that possibly blatant push, it worked. The film deals with emotion, what do you expect? I predict to see at least two acting nominations for Sidibe and Mo’Nique. Patton’s performance isn’t as flashy but I think it should be recognized as the one relatable character that is on the outside looking in. My one weird complaint on her is that she seemed too pretty in this dark world. It was a bit distracting. I also believe the film will be noticed in the screenplay category. Being the year where we get ten picture nominations I don’t think it’s out of line to say it will possibly be up for that category as well. PRECIOUS made me reflect on life, others and myself and that is what any great film hopes to accomplish.