zondag 26 januari 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 20: Precious

Director: Lee Daniels
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 104 minutes
Year: 2009
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Sherri Shepherd

Description: In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, the overweight, abused, illiterate teen Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.

Review: Not a lot of people would want to trade lives with Claireece ‘Precious’ Jones. She is sixteen, weighs 330 pounds and lives in one of the poorest neighborhoods of New York. She can barely read and write and is constantly bullied at school. Despite all that she’s rather in school then at home with her mother. She yells at Precious, treats her like a slave and abuses her. Four years ago she had a child with Down Syndrom, who was conceived by her own father. He rapes her and Precious is now expecting her second child. Mother Mary does nothing. She blames Precious for stealing her husband.
Lee Daniels previously produced movies like “Monster’s Ball” and “The Woodsman”, which also dealt with heavy themes. In the first 45 minutes of “Precious” you don’t see one inch of hope for the young girl. When she meets Ms. Rain at the alternative school ‘Each One, Teach One’, Precious grows, she blooms. Paula Patton easily could have made Ms. Rain into a soft teacher, but instead she portrays her as a strong woman on a mission.
“Precious” stands out because of the convincing acting performances. Newbie Gabourey Sidibe is overwhelming in her title role. She is believable. Mariah Carey surprised everyone as social worker Ms. Weiss, who only has a few scenes but was very solid. The best performance is by Mo’Nique, who is known as a comedienne. She plays Precious’ mother and is scary good as the mom from hell.
“Precious” is a grabbing film, that leaves a mark. I don’t understand why Lee Daniels wanted to make this movie a bit lighter by adding several dream sequences. And there are also some irrelevant close-ups and misplaced symbolic. But you do have the constant feeling that you’re dealing with real people and real misery. That this film gets under your skin is because of the wonderful acting.

Rating: 3/ 5

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