Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) is a viciously abused teen who is obese, functionally illiterate, and pregnant for the second time by her father in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
Her mother Mary (astounding Best Supporting Actress Mo’Nique) is pathetic and brutal, blaming Precious for her own failures and for “stealing” her man.
How to survive abuse
Director Lee Daniels has taken the rich, stark material of Sapphire’s novel Push and evoked from his actors emotional depths and truths that transcend race and class.
These characters may remind you of people you have met. A foul-mouthed girl who seems defeated by life, Precious is not easy to be around.
This film is bound to raise awareness about sexual and emotional abuse. Compassion cannot be far behind when we recognize a survivor.
Both executive producers Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey have stated that they are survivors of sexual and emotional abuse.
Willing to push
Just when you think Precious’ fate cannot get any worse, a ray of light appears. Ms. Blu Rain (Paula Patton) is an alternative school teacher who leads a small class of Harlem women preparing for the GED.
Patton offers a turning point in the girl’s life. “Push yourself,” she urges Precious, creating hope and inspiration in an urban desert.
The excellent supporting cast, including the women in Precious’ class, add unforgettable realism.
Discovering care, support
Mariah Carey plays Mrs. Weiss, a concerned social worker. In one of the most powerful and disturbing scenes, Precious’ mother devolves while the social worker referees a meeting between mother and daughter. Sapphire appears briefly as a daycare worker.
If you can stay tuned through these hellish scenes, you’ll be rewarded with a transcendent finale.
Superb direction and acting make Precious and her violent reality worth watching. Once you witness her world, you may never be the same. (5 out of 5 stars)
Precious 2008 / R / 1 hr, 49 min
Cast Overview: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Sherri Shepherd, Nealla Gordon, Xosha Roquemore, Chyna Layne, Angelic Zambrana, Stephanie Andujar, Amina Robinson, Nia Fraser
Director: Lee Daniels