Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

4.2 25
Director: Lee Daniels

Cast: Gabourey Sidibe, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton

     
 

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Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels follows up his 2005 directorial debut, Shadowboxer, with this adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel about an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers anSee more details below

Overview

Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels follows up his 2005 directorial debut, Shadowboxer, with this adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel about an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers an alternate path in life after she begins attending a new school. Clareece "Precious" Jones is only a teenager, yet she's about to give birth to her second child. Unable to read or write, Clareece shows little prospect for the future until discovering that she has been accepted into an alternative school. There, with a little help from a sympathetic teacher (Paula Patton) and a kindly nurse (Lenny Kravitiz), the young girl receives something that most teens never get -- a chance to start over. Mo'nique co-stars in an inspirational drama featuring the debut performance of screen newcomer Gabourey "Gabbie" Sidibe.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
For a film that touches on so many challenging and controversial topics -- including sexual and mental/emotional abuse, teen pregnancy, HIV, and illiteracy -- Precious is told with such energy, style, and conviction that it's impossible not to be awed by the artistry of the film even when we're shrinking away from the devastation taking place on the screen. Even when things get so grim that all hope seems lost, director Lee Daniels keeps us emotionally involved by merging documentary-style filmmaking with urban surrealism in a way that's genuinely captivating and original. While some may argue that Daniels' stylistic flourishes have no place in a story like Precious, it's precisely his bold artistic choices that set the film apart from any number of inner-city underdog stories, and take us into the mind of a young woman whose devastating circumstances are preventing her from reaching her true potential. Clareece "Precious" Jones (Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe) doesn't have an easy life; poor, illiterate, and the victim of severe sexual and emotional abuse, she's just gotten pregnant by her father a second time. She is about to be kicked out of school when her principal recommends that she seek out an alternative form of education. Upon enrolling in the "Each One Teach One" program, Precious encounters benevolent teacher Ms. Rain (Paula Patton). Unlike Precious' distracted teachers back at public school, Ms. Rain recognizes that the emotionally fragile young student isn't defined by her shortcomings, and has an unusual gift for writing. But every time Precious experiences any form of trauma, she mentally withdraws to a place where all of her wildest dreams come true. After giving birth to her second child, Precious strives to make a break from her abusive mother, Mary (Mo'Nique), and become a responsible parent. With a little help from Ms. Rain and her classmates, she might find the strength to do just that, and break the cycle of abuse that began when her father started molesting her at the tender age of three. Though Daniels' unique portrayal of Precious' sporadic flights of fancy do succeed in elevating the proceedings to something far more profound than your typical inspirational drama, Precious really is an actor's film, and with it the director has established himself as a filmmaker who knows how to coax a memorable performance from his players. In her first starring role, young Sidibe displays a believable blend of fear and self-doubt that perfectly contrasts the cornered confidence just beneath the surface. She may not have the advantage of a good education, but her insight into her own situation is unusually perceptive and acutely observant. Everything about the character of Precious speaks to her condition -- from her manner of speaking to her body language -- and Sidibe hits every note wonderfully. As effective as Sidibe is at embodying her deeply troubled character, however, it's the villain who makes or breaks the protagonist's struggle, and as Precious' monster of a mother, popular comic Mo'Nique proves that making us laugh isn't the only thing she does well. Her portrayal of the mother who has allowed her daughter to be abused -- and then condemned her for being a victim -- is harrowing and horrifying, and the monologue in which she attempts to come clean is simply shattering in the way it reveals the inner workings of a damaged mind. Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz also get kudos for shedding their glamorous public personas to portray a concerned social worker and a compassionate male nurse, respectively, though it's ultimately Mo'Nique who steals the show as the kind of mother you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. She's the dark crowning jewel of a film that's at once horrifying, challenging, and bleakly beautiful.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/09/2010
UPC:
0031398119807
Original Release:
2008
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
A
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
37,383

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Gabourey Sidibe Clareece "Precious" Jones
Lenny Kravitz Nurse John
Paula Patton Ms. Rain
Mo'Nique Mary
Mariah Carey Mrs. Weiss
Sherri Shepherd Cornrows
Stephanie Andujar Rita
Chyna Layne Rhonda
Amina Robinson Jermaine
Xosha Roquemore Joann
Angelic Zambrana Consuelo
Aunt Dot Tootsie
Nealla Gordon Mrs. Lichenstein
Grace Hightower Social Worker
Barret Mindell Tom Cruise
Kimberly Russell Katherine
Bill Sage Mr. Wicher
Susan Taylor Fairy Godmother
Kendall Toombs Abdul (newborn)
Alexander Toombs Abdul (newborn)
Cory Davis Abdul (9 months)
Rochelle McNaughton AIDS Clerk
Roy Anthony Tarell Harvey Boy #1
Abigail Savage Bunny
Rodney "Bear" Jackson Carl
Sapphire Daycare Woman
Linda Watson Female Clerk
Emani Reid Girl #1
Dashawn Robinson Girl #2
Ashley Livingston Girl With Jermaine
Maurizio Arseni Italian Language Instructor
Mugga KFC Cashier
Deborah Lohse Lady #1
Joye Davoren Lady #2
Chazz Menendez Man #1
Roy T. Anderson Man #2
Dewanda Wise Miriam
Quishay Peanan Mongo
Vivien Eng Nurse
Silje Vallevik Pretty Blond Girl
Matt Bralow Reggie
Shayla Stewart Ruby
Erica Faye Watson Sheila
Ephraim Benton Skinny Boy #1
Shortee Redd Skinny Boy #2
Timothy Allen Skinny Boy #3
Kola Ogundrian Skinny Man
Christopher Joseph Unruly Boy #1
Victor Woodley Unruly Boy #2

Technical Credits
Lee Daniels Director,Producer
Roshelle Berliner Production Designer
Lisa Cortes Executive Producer
Matteo DeCosmo Art Director
Marina Draghici Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Dunn Cinematographer
Lynn Fainchtein Musical Direction/Supervision
Geoffrey Fletcher Screenwriter
Mario Grigorov Score Composer
Tom Heller Executive Producer
Billy Hopkins Casting
Asger Hussain Associate Producer
Ken Ishii Sound/Sound Designer
Jessica Kelly Casting
Joe Klotz Editor
Gary Magness Producer
Mark G. Mathis Co-producer
Damien Paul Screenwriter
Tyler Perry Executive Producer
Sarah Siegel-Magness Producer
Chip Signore Asst. Director
Oprah Winfrey Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Audio commentary with director Lee Daniels; "From Push to Precious" featurette; "A Precious Ensemble" featurette; "Oprah and Tyler: A Project of Passion" featurette; A conversation with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels; Deleted scene: "The Incest Survivor Meeting" ; Audition: Gabourey Sidibe; Reflections on Presious

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