“Precious” Precarious, Precocious, Persistent, Powerful and Poised

Genres: Drama, Adaptation and Teen
Running Time: 1 hr. 49 min.
Release Date: November 6th, 2009 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language.
Distributors: Lionsgate Films

Director: Lee Daniels

JJ Rating: A

Saying that Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) had a terrible life would be an understatement. Saying she was determined to do right undeterred would be right on par. Precious.

Precious is a lot of P words like precarious, precocious, persistent, powerful and poised. She had every single reason to be terrible person. There would have been justifications from every corner of her dark private life that would socially justify her being out of control and spiteful. But she was not any of that. What she was-was a teenager that worked hard until she figured out that she wanted to give to herself and her babies more than she wanted to give to an unappreciative mother.

Sibide is amazing. She was the hope diamond in this dark, rough, debilitating and devious film that harbored so much anger, distrust and hate. There was not a whole lot of love, but there was enough. She took this film on her newbie shoulders and stood proud next to many famous persons and held her own. Mo’Nique was scary as the mother. I recognized the comedian I knew by face, but by action it was someone else. She embodied a woman that would rival Nurse Hatchet. I was awestruck by her demeanor and anger and was just trying to catch up as the movie went along. I wanted to see her smile and hug her daughter. I wanted healing to happen because this is no Mo’Nique I knew. She was so good. Mariah Carey was down to earth looking and her acting was WAY BETTER than Glitter (and no I’m not hinting at anything Edward or Twilight). Lenny Kravitz was the other music star in the film. He was good and decent.

The story is sad and dark and depressing. This is not a feel good movie but I can say that it’s far more feel good than Monster’s Ball that was directed (Lee Daniels) by the same director. It gets to many low points and in my head I was thinking that it couldn’t get worse than this and then it does. People that have to go through that must have been broken so many times. Broken here and there and as they try to put themselves together they get broken again. Some just quit and decide to stay broken and then turn to do vile and terrible things.

Precious is different and in that area I guess I can say that it is a little feel good. She had some much damage in her life that things only get worse and what did she do? She continues to try to do right. She chooses to do right. I think that that message is a positive message. Do not quit.

I could NEVER watch this movie again. It is heartbreaking to see the damage that people create by being so angry and so mean towards other people, especially their families. The world is hard enough, but to put family in the mix? That’s just wrong.

Precious has Oscar Nominations all over the place. And if it doesn’t and it’s this years Doubt I am going to write the Academy a long letter that will be scathing. It’s bad enough that they ignore seasoned actors that totally hit a grand slam via a script that was adapted to screen, but to ignore the blood and sweat of a small film like this will be the straw that will break my imaginary camel’s back.

Precious is a difficult film to watch. It is not easy. It is not happy. It is angry, dark, damaging, emotionally destructive and very low human standards of care. It is similar to Monster’s Ball via the director and the tone, but not in how it is told. It has a hint of helping light. A glint of hope and that glint is found in Precious’s eyes. Those eyes also belong to Gabourey Sidibe who upstaged everyone in the film to be a teenager that was tore down every second of her life but in mere moments of defiance and stubbornness she proves that the same old-same old doesn’t have to always be. Precious is so and just like the title of the book she pushed to be her true self in a life that was trying to keep her down.

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