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Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire (2009)

Reviewed on 2010 March 19

I had a hard time making the decision to watch this, because while I heard about how wonderful the acting was, I also heard it was a painful, heartbreaking movie. I broke down and rented it, but I waited for a warm spring day when I was in an otherwise good mood. It turns out all the things I heard were correct, and while I don’t think there’s enough Kleenex® or chocolate for me to sit through it again, it was excellent.

Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) has a life of hell. Her mother Mary (Mo’Nique) beats her and worse, and her dirtbag father sexually abused her almost since she could crawl and now she’s pregnant by him for the second time. The only thing she seems to enjoy in her life is math class, and even that is going to be taken from her. She is expelled from her school but gets a ray of hope when an administrator refers her to an alternative school. Precious wants to try this, despite Mary insisting she give up and get on welfare like her.

Gabourey Sidibe was outstanding as Precious, and Mo’Nique was just as wonderful as Precious’s horrible…well, creature that gave birth to her; technically Mary is her mother but she doesn’t deserve that title. The editing is good too, showing how Precious copes with her daily misery by fantasizing about a better life.

Three chocolate morsels. Just don’t watch it back-to-back with Titanic or The Color Purple unless you want to feel like flinging yourself out a window.

Shukti

morsel morsel morsel

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