Written on: 02/02/2010 by dhayes22 (54 reviews written)
Normally when I hear a movie has Oprah Winfrey as its executive producer I think TV-movie nonsense. This is not the case with Precious. Oprah only got involved having seen a screening well after the project was wrapped so it doesn't have her usual schmaltzy fare.
The film is about Precious, a 16 year-old teenager from Harlem in New York. She's fat, quiet and pregnant for the second time. Her father has made her pregnant both times. Her first baby has Down's syndrome and she has no idea about the health of her second, still in the womb, because she can't afford any medical care. Or food. Or much of anything for that matter. She's forced to steal food when she's hungry.
She lives at home in the projects with her mother who spends her days on a filthy sofa in front of the television. She's not an invalid she just chooses to do absolutely nothing with her life. She hates her daughter, blames her for the fact her father has made her pregnant and takes it out in her via the most appalling physical and mental abuse.
After getting kicked out of school for getting pregnant the second time she gets accepted on to a special education programme where she learns literacy and, along the way, via the help and support of her teacher and classmates, also learns self-respect and that she can have a better life.
The main thing you notice about precious is her quiet dignity. Even as the most unbelievable facts come about of her history of abuse at the hands of her mother and father she remains stoic. But the hits just keep on coming for her. One after another. Just when you think things can't get any worse they do.
Precious is not a movie you really go to 'enjoy'. Even enjoying the actors' performances seems somehow wrong given the roles they are playing and just how well they play them. If anything you go to remind yourself how lucky you really are and how strong the human spirit can be. It's uplifting but it's an emotional wrench to sit through to get to that point.
The films has some amazing performances from Mo'nique as the most frightening on screen mother probably ever, Gabourdy Sidibe as the teenage Precious and even a fantastic Mariah Carey as her social worked.
I would definitely recommend it but prepared to come out feeling more drained than uplifted.