This ground-breaking movie, Precious, is like no other movie I have ever seen. The main character, Precious Jones, a sixteen-year-old, was portrayed by a young lady who had never had any prior acting experience, Gabourey Sidibe. We are all aware that there are persons in this world who lead lives of extreme hardship, but to witness and absorb all of this pain in one hour and 49 minutes is almost too much to bear.
I was not surprised to read in the credits that the Executive Producers of the movie were Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. It takes great courage to bring issues to the screen that most people would prefer to just sweep under the rug. As the movie unfolds, we discover that Precious was raped by her own father and has two children by him, a mongoloid little girl and a boy who was born midway through the film.
We witness the verbal and physical abuse brought down on Precious by her mother, played by Mo’Nique. It is no surprise that Mo’Nique received an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her role in Precious. She also won a Golden Globe Award in this same category. To make such a character believable, it is necessary to have experienced or at least witnessed the behavior of a person afflicted with such an abusive personality. Otherwise, we can only attribute the performance to exceptional acting ability.
It is wonderful to see Precious gradually but steadily gain self-respect as she comes to know good people in her life – the teacher at her alternative school, the social worker who encourages her to face the reality of her life, and the male nurse who delivered her son.
Mariah Carey as the social worker and Lenny Kravitz in his acting debut as Nurse John each gave their cameo roles substance as they befriended Precious in her difficult life journey. Paula Patton played a sympathetic role as Precious’ teacher who brought her out of her shell, along with the other students who added humor to the situation as they came to know and love Precious.
Through the aid of her newly found friends, Precious is able to leave her mother’s house and to stay temporarily in a halfway house with her two children. We are left with the sense that Precious will make her way successfully in the world in spite of her horrific background.
The movie Precious is based on the novel entitled Push and written by a person known as Sapphire. The question arises as to whether the story of Precious might be autobiographical. The powerful details which are delineated in the movie lead me to believe that the answer is Yes.
I would recommend this movie to anyone who reads this review. At the very least, you will feel thankful for your own blessings of family and friends. It may also spur you on to do something for those less fortunate than yourself.
Movie – Precious (2009)