Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Review - Precious

Claireece Precious Jones is a overweight and illiterate teen living in Harlem. Pregnant with her second child, Precious is given a new direction in life when she is recommended for alternative education. Her abusive mother however, wants no part in Precious doing anything other than collecting a welfare check. Wanting to rise above her unimaginable hardships, Precious is challenged with the mechanics of learning how to deal with her adversities.

"Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" is the most appalling and sorrowful filled film you will see in 2009. It is absolutely gut-wrenching to endure. Making it all the more painful to watch, the story is based on true events. The film and book take direct aim at the oppressed youth that novelist Sapphire encountered in her years as a literacy teacher. Sapphire through her years of work created a story that focused on one deprived youth and her epically tragic story.

While "Precious" is bitterly painful to stomach the performances throughout are some of the best on screen this year. Mo'Nique delivers a jaw dropping and horrifying performance as Precious' invalid mother Mary. Mo'Nique is downright disgusting in "Precious" and every scene she is on screen you fear the worst for Precious and her children. Her performance is so staggering, it is sure to land her a Best Supporting Actress nomination in both the Oscars and The Golden Globes.

Newcomer Gabourney 'Gabby' Sidibe also delivers a remarkable performance as Precious. In her portrayal, she captures the desperation and solitude of a deprived 16 year old girl without a hint of error. In a story as dark as "Precious," it seems easy to feel remorse for a character as downtrodden as Precious, but Gabby Sidibe provides so much more. She is charismatic and inspiring despite all the dark elements and tragic events that play out in the 110 minute drama.

"Precious" is a film that needs to be experienced and seen first hand. It is a traumatic and horrific story that I urge every parent to see. Abuse of any kind can be a devastating event. That is not to say any of us are abusive with our children, but seeing the polar opposite is very eye opening endeavor to say the least.

"Precious" is not a film that is necessarily ground breaking or excelled in directing. Instead the film is very simplistic and follows a very basic story of survival. No credit taken away from director Lee Daniels, but it is the performances and tragic events in "Precious" that make the film a emotional cinematic experience, not his direction.

In the end, "Precious" is utterly devastating. Being made aware of others extreme hardships is never easy. Here the viewer is thrown into a world they may or may not relate with, but they most definitely will be horrified by the unspeakable situations. It is not a movie I would ever want to watch again, however a film I will endlessly recommend.