Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire

( 25 )

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 ...
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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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Special Features

Audio commentary with director Lee Daniels; "From Push to Precious" featurette; "A Precious Ensemble" featurette; "Oprah and Tyler: Project of Passion" featurette; A conversation with author Sapphire and director Lee Daniels; Deleted scene: "The Incest Survivor Meeting"; Audition: Gabourey Sidibe; Reflections on Precious
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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: 3/9/2010
  • UPC: 031398119777
  • Original Release: 2008
  • Rating:

  • Source: Lions Gate
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:49:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,965

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

Disc #1 -- Precious
1. Someday [3:58]
2. Principal's Office [3:43]
3. Each One Teach One [6:00]
4. Big Day Tomorrow [1:25]
5. First Day [6:27]
6. Still Hungry [3:37]
7. You Coming [2:15]
8. Meet and Greet [5:38]
9. A Single Step [2:17]
10. All Look the Same [2:52]
11. Eat It Up [5:30]
12. Home Life [1:48]
13. For the Social Worker [3:44]
14. Talk to Somebody [2:00]
15. Higher Learning [3:52]
16. Nurse John [3:14]
17. Dear Precious [3:26]
18. Can I Hold Him? [3:00]
19. Ruined My Life [3:38]
20. Just a Teacher [4:26]
21. Making Progress [4:27]
22. A Visitor [3:51]
23. Your Story [4:39]
24. On Her Own [5:18]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Precious
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Set Up
      Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
      Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital
      Subtitles: English
      Subtitles: Spanish
      Subtitles: Off
   Special Features
      Audio Commentary With Director Lee Daniels: On/Off
      From Push to Precious
      A Precious Ensemble
      Oprah Tyler: A Project of Passion
      A Conversation With Author Sapphire and Director Lee Daniels
      Deleted Scene: The Incest Survivor Meeting
      Audition: Gabourey Sidibe
      Reflections on Precious
         Lee Daniels
         Gabby Sidibe
         Paula Patton
      Theatrical Trailer
      Also From Lionsgate
      DVD Credits
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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(15)

4 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Must See. Bring a tissue...

    This film is one of the most heartbreaking films I've ever seen. Although hard to watch at times, the incredibly raw and powerful performances given by these talented actors force you to watch and listen to it's message.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    "Precious" honesty

    Lucky viewers. Director Lee Daniels drew from a lifetime of intelligence, to assemble an unforgetable cast that puts honesty out there where it should be. Watching it is difficult. But not watching would be cheating your intelligence. It's perfectly crafted, and perfectly heartbreaking from moment to moment. A lesson learned in "there is no such case as a lost child" The magic of teaching is a bloodline to life.You will cry for Precious. And you will clap for Precious. And inbetween you will search for the words why---over and over until it aches. Dare to watch new comer Oscar nominated Gabbie Sidibe blur the lines of movie magic and life, to make movie viewers wake up to bleak reality, and just how easy a child can disappear. Teaching has and always will count for everything in life. This is a unique experience proves it. There are no thers to compare.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Not for the faint of heart!

    I'll admit that I haven't read the book, but I have seen the movie. I must say that it is very powerful and emotional. It also goes to show that no matter what tragedies occur in life, that the power of the human spirit can and will always prevail. And this is definitely the case with Precious. All of the characters were good, but it is Monique's portrayal of Precious' mom that is the most striking. You would never think that a comedian would play such an evil, heartless role. However, Monique was right on point and deserved the awards she's won! True, some scenes in the film are hard to watch, especially the abuse scenes. But overall I highly recommend this movie.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't waste money

    Although this movie was up for many awards and the acting was wonderful. The story itself is not good. Gabourey Sidibe was wonderful playing the part and hopefully she will get to show more of her acting talents. Mo'nique's character was a very terrible mother but Mo'nique did a great job and did work every hard and deserved the Academy Award she won.

    As for the movie itself, the story line was terrible and it is a tramatic story line. There are many other movies out there that deal with this same type of story lines that are much better written.

    I would suggest renting this one before you purchase it. I wish I could return it to the store for a refund but I have opened it and they won't take it back.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Bring Tissues!

    As a fan of the book "PUSH" by Sapphire, I rushed to see the film in NYC on opening weekend. My only regret is that I didn't have any tissues handy! The performances in this film were all so riveting and believable that there was barely a dry eye in the house at multiple points in the film. Indeed, there were literally moments where it was dead-silent except for the film's score and the sound of echoing sobs throughout the theater. It was odd to see a comedian (Mo'Nique) in such a serious role, but her performance was certainly Oscar-worthy. And newcomer Gabbie Sidibe (Precious) really stole the show. It's hard for your heart not to go out to her character. I was actually shocked that she wasn't up for an Oscar for her performance. Perhaps she'll garner a nomination for another role in the future? I expect good things from her.

    Some may say that this film is "sensational" or that the plot is extreme, but anyone who says that (fortunately for them) hasn't seen or witnessed the terrible things that society and our current social system can let slip by or fall through the cracks. Stories like these pass through social service systems across the country (and the world) all the time, and as you'll see in the movie, often end up getting "lost in the system." This film is not only an inspiring story of hope, survival, and inspiration, but may change the way that people view poverty, ignorance, and a whole host of other social issues besides. Never dismiss someone because of how they look, speak, sound or act. You never know what their story holds! 5 stars, hands down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Certainly worth the time to watch.

    Because the early screenings of Precious from my friends came with a warning to bring tissues, I fully expected to be a goner. Yet there I sat dry-eyed through all of Lee Daniels' screen adaptation of Sapphire's celebrated 1997 novel Push. The movie has the kind of authenticity and ugly immediacy that make the tears of a viewer sitting in the dark safety of a movie theater seem a little silly - indulgent even.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I suppose Precious was speaking of the young mother and her child being precious.

    I would not recommend anyone watching this movie although it won an oscar for the performance. The acting was very well done but not appropriate to be on the public screen, especially for children. I was appalled. One mother took her teenage daughter and she was just dumbfounded after the movie. It was just awful, in my opinion.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 23, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews