Movie Review: 'Precious: Based on the Novel By Sapphire'

Movie Review: 'Precious: Based on the Novel By Sapphire'

Summary: A horrifying urban drama about an obese girl and single mother named Precious. 

Published November 2, 2009

STIL0053Summary : A horrifying urban drama about an obese girl and single mother named Precious.  The Harlem teen is suffering a monstrosity of abuse in her home, neighborhood and school. Attempting to beat the odds, she is inspired by the unexpected, striving for education and fighting not to repeat the same cycle of circumstances.

Review : Believe the hype, Lee Daniels' Precious: Based on the Novel By Sapphire is everything you expect it to be, and more. While Daniels has already proved himself as a visionary and edgy director and producer with films like Shadowboxer and The Woodsman , the Philadelphia native has topped himself in what is clearly the best film of the year thus far -- the best in acting, directing and writing. From the first type on the screen to the closing credits, Daniels and everyone involved managed to take a classic novel that one would think is impossible for the big screen and paint a prolific portrait that will go down as one of the great films in American cinema.

Precious breaks you open and digs right down into your spirit. No matter who you are, we all have tinges of Precious in our lives. As extreme as the story is, it's real, tangible and deeply vivid. Lee Daniels' talents are so monumental that you can almost smell the funk of Precious' home and touch the sweat on her pained face. It's a movie that took me a solid 24 hours to recover from.

Gabourey Sidibe stars as Precious, in a debut performance that is comparable to Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl or Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls .  Sidibe, who is actually 26 years old, engulfed herself in Precious with taste, ease and vigor.

Mariah Carey plays a social worker and uppercuts anyone who thinks she has no acting chops. She holds her own on the screen with actors who were acting like Mariah hits those mega notes. The movie also included legendary rocker Lenny Kravitz and Robin Thicke 's wife Paula Patton . In addition, there are a slew of newcomers whose lives will change after being in such an excellent film.

But, it is the acting from Baltimore native Mo'Nique that will annihilate every viewer of Precious . Mo'Nique performed like it was the last second of her life as Precious' mother, Mary. Not a trace of Mo'Nique, the "skinny bitches are evil" diva was on the screen. She was revolting, terrifying and absolutely grueling.  Daniels, who is known to grind audiences with uncomfortable but important scenes (think the graphic sex scene in Monster's Ball ), let Mo'Nique go further than probably any director would let her go. Mo'Nique was a life force on celluloid. Even if Bette Davis , Joan Crawford and Katherine Hepburn all came back from the dead -- they could not pull that Oscar out of Mo'Nique's hands.

Unless something earth-shattering is coming down the pike within the next two months, Precious is most definitely the best movie of the year. Reserve your tickets now. If movies can changes lives, this one will change yours.

Precious is in theaters this Friday, November 6th.

Written by Clay Cane


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