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We risk the wrath of Oprah and review Precious

 

"Precious" (2009)

“Precious” details struggles of a young black girl whose family includes an incestuous child molester of a father and “Mother of the Year." The title character doesn’t seem to be trying to find her way in life and escapes by imagining she is famous in some alternate reality and that everyone loves her.

The story moves at an odd pace and at times feels like a 90-minute run-on sentence. Precious’s motivations are never clear and she seems to be content following the flow of her utterly unhappy life. The story hints that we're supposed to believe she's a caring person who wants to be a good mother, but she's barely trying – and we don't find it easy to sympathize.

Precious escapes her harsh reality by imagining herself as a celebrity and by saying she wants to be thin and lighter skinned, but this scenario is never played out. At one point when she imagines herself as a pretty white girl and it seems out of place.

Performances are fine, but there are moments when the film gives off too much of a “Dangerous Minds” vibe. We were waiting for Precious’s teacher, Ms. Rain (played by the attractive Paula Patton) to come in with a leather jacket and confess she knows kung-fu a la Michelle Pfieffer.

Mo’Nique does a good job as Precious's fiendish mother as does newcomer Gabourey Sidibe as precious. Mariah Carey managed to hold together her supporting character well. Carey’s accent was a little on-again-off-again, but we give her credit for trying to make us forget that she was in “Glitter," but obviously we can't do that.

Bitter Balcony can't connect with the idea of “feel good” movies. It's great that things seem to work out in the end of "Precious," but we can’t help but see the deeper issues that remain for the characters after the credits roll. Precious is still a single mother of two children, one with Down Syndrome. She is very early in her education and has almost no support system. Not to mention that she is a bit of a pushover and could potentially be shoved right back into the crappy life she grew up in – which is something psychiatrists say people often do.

"Precious" (2009)

Images:

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Trailer:

Official website:

"Precious" (2009)

Credits:

Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by: Geoffrey Fletcher Novel by: Sapphire
Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Paula Patton





Source of the Bitter: JAS

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
Francine on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 11:34am

I don't think we watched the same movie. I didn't think Precious' imagination had as much impact on the plot as you did. Her Walter Mitty-moments were something we're all guilty of doing: briefly imagining ourselves in a dream world that quickly snaps back to reality. She dreams. Precious, she's just like us! Only she has a deck the size of the Washington Monument stacked against her.

I don't think the ending was sewn up at all; it just fluttered in the wind much as it did in the beginning. There was no "feel good happy ending." She's HIV positive, has two kids (one who she can't exactly cut loose at age 18) by her own father, just disowned her own mother. All she accomplished was reading at a 7th grade level by the time she was 16. Nope, not zactly a pick-me-up. I'd read "Push" several months before seeing "Precious" and was thankful that the film didn't include some of the more disgusting and disturbing parts of the book.

JAS on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 6:52pm

Her moments of escapism were just that and I got that from the movie, but I felt the one single scene where she imagines herself as a white chic was the writer, director, or producer's desperately reaching for an "OMG" moment for some extra press or word of mouth. That's what bothered me and why I felt it had to be mentioned.

I'm going to agree and disagree with it not really ending. I agree that the ending was just an arbitrary period in the middle of a very long sentence. However, I do feel it was a good stopping point as this is the only moment in the movie where she is really at a fork in the road for her life. At that moment where she chose to disown her mother and take charge of her kids she can either make the real effort and strive to change the path that seems predestined for her OR she can fall over and let some piece of crap deadbeat beat the crap out of her when he's too tired to take another swing from the 500th beer bottle.

P.S. Thanks for reading and offering input! There really is nothing better than debating different perspectives on the same movie.

JAS on Wed, 01/20/2010 - 7:13pm

Well, there could be better things, but none movie related. :P

JAS on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 12:11pm

I see that I was misinformed in that most people thought this was a "feel good" movie. Its so not that I could shake the irritation that some people (any people) actually do see it that way. My opinion, aside from the "feel good" part which qualifies for those who see it that way remains unchanged.

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