REVIEW OF Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
From Precious’ peers at ‘Each One, Teach One’ to Lenny Kravitz’s performance as ‘Nurse John’ , I can honestly say that this is one of the strongest casts I have seen in a while, HECK maybe since “Crash”. Everyone is so real. I didn’t think for one second,
“OH, I’m watching a film”,
possibly because Gabourey Sidibe is an unknown actress making her screen debut, but I truly believed that she was Claireece Precious Jones.
I was fortunate enough to attend a private screening of “Precious, based on a novel by Sapphire” yesterday evening.
The film, set in Harlem, introduces us to this character (Precious) who feels invisible, unloved, neglected…Daniels’ direction allows for the audience to follow Precious on her journey, battling a second pregnancy, at just 16, an expulsion from her school and an abusive home environment. Her mother, Mary, played by the extremely talened Mo’Nique, is awfully brilliant. She manages to become this terrifying presence in Precious’ life. In my opinion, I required neither more or less from her portrayal; I think she ought to be ready to start off 2010 in good spirits as I am very positive her performance, along with Sidibe’s will be very well received (cough cough ACADEMY AWARDS cough – especially after she took home the Golden Globe last week)…Paula Patton plays an inspiring teacher, Ms Blu Rain, who shows care and respect for Precious and Mariah Carey = amazing in this film.
Daniels definitely knows how to bring the best out of Mariah – I’ve yet to see “Tennessee” but have only heard good things about her performance in that and now seeing her in “Precious” shows me just how talented she is as an actress. One of the most disturbingly real scenes for me, had to be right at the end, between Mo’Nique, Sidibe and Carey. I won’t say too much as I don’t want to ruin it for you all, but it was so well executed in every sense – camera angles, pace, delivery of the actors….
That also leads me onto say that I must again commend the direction of this piece. I LOVE how it is shot, how it is conveyed to the audience. The segments exploring Precious’ mind, showing her dreams and aspirations are almost like something out-of-a-fairytale…it is done so cleverly to draw up the contrast between her wishes and her reality.
I say powerful because it is one of the most powerful films, if not the most powerful film of the year. Realistic because it is so real. The film is so unbelievably emotive, but it’s actually not the kind of film I would cry in, it’s almost too deep and too gripping for one to shed a tear. (I’ve actually never cried in a film, ever….but anyway…) C is for celebrate because we all should celebrate this film. I know it took a lot of effort and hard work to finally turn ‘Push’, a novel by Sapphire, into this film and I am so delighted at the positive response it has been met with. Invisible represents how Precious feels, especially when we first meet her at the opening of the film. O is for obligation because I strongly feel that everyone, or as many people as possible, should go and see this incredible film. U stands for unrelenting because Precious is stuck in this world of unrelenting abuse and pain.
S for Sidibe, because her performance is FANTASTIC.