Hello I am the movie encyclopedia and if no one else will see it, I will.
I am one of those people who never really gives into peer pressure. If I see a movie its usually because I want to see it. But every now and again, especially when it comes to movies, I sometimes give into peer pressure. Not usually when it comes to movies that are super popular like Transformers or the Twilight series (I see them on my own time or if I even feel like it) but when movies are so critically acclaimed by everybody and they get so much Oscar and Golden Globe Buzz I tend to have to see with my own eyes what all the hubbub is about. In all honesty I didn't ever want to see Precious. It seemed really depressing and kinda poorly made. The story didn't really grab me and I've seen plenty of people who live in (insert bad neighborhood here) and who achieve something and go onto becoming (enter something "Make a movie about my life" worthy). But when I hear that its almost a guarantee that Monique and newcomer Gabourey Sidibe are going to or already have won numerous awards for their parts I finally sat down and watched this movie.
The story is really peppy. Claireece Precious Jones live in Harlem in 1987. She is obese, pregnant with her second child, and illiterate (although she IS good at math). Oh did I mention she is sixteen, her father raped her and he is the father of her kids. Oh and her mom is on welfare, regularly beats and abuses her and treats her like crap. Needless to say if you think you have a bad life she can probably top yours in an instant. Because she is pregnant she gets kicked out of school and sent to a Alternative school so she can get her GED. Once there her teacher inspires her to learn and becomes a role model for young Precious and along with the other members of class, helps her out through her struggles.
I gotta say...I loved this movie but it is the first movie in a while to actually make me cry. I mean it is a definition downer of a movie. You leave the theater shaking your head and feeling like someone shot your dog/cat. The acting is spot on. Usually in movies with recognizable people (Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Monique) you tend to see them and not their movie. But in this movie they were totally real. They felt like their character and not themselves. Carey is almost unrecognizable in her role as a social worker looking pale, homely and messed up. Monique, who is usually a funny comedienne, is brutal, heinous, evil and demented. Every time she is on the screen she struck fear into my heart. But she has serious power to her. Gabourey is really good as well. At first since she barely talked except for a few grunts and the occasional narration she really didn't seem like she even deserved a nomination. But as she grew as a character and she got to the really hard times in her life her character shined and she was so emotionally raw and believable. You felt bad for her.
Precious is based on the novel Push by Sapphire. Just to clear things up Precious is not Sapphire. No instead Paula Patton's character of Blu Rain is who Sapphire is. Sapphire was a poet/hippie who became a teacher for underprivileged kids. One of the kids she met while she was there was someone like Precious who she helped out and get straightened out. If you haven't read the book I suggest you do its a good read. But the movie does a good job portraying her book and for once the movie was as good or better than the book.
It's hard, especially with the holidays, to recommend this movie. Its well acted, well written, well done and deserves awards...but at the same time its just so emotionally draining to watch and there never really feels like a moment of happiness in this movie. Its extremely dark and hopeless. So if you don't mind crying a little or feeling bad for the sake of a good movie than give this one a shot.
MY VERDICT: SEE IT