Precious – A Powerful, Harrowing and Ultimately Uplifting Film

When I first heard the plot of this film – a 16 year-old girl deals with her abusive mother while pregnant with her second child by her own father – I was a little squeamish. When I heard that Mo’Nique gives the performance of a lifetime I was baffled and when I heard that regardless of its harrowing premise you’ll leave the film feeling uplifted, I was skeptical. Ladies and gentlemen, I was wrong.

This film is excellent and well deserves the attention it’s receiving this awards season. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is breathtaking as Precious. The growth in character and spirit we see from her, even as life does its best to push her down, is awe-inspiring. 

I never knew Mo’Nique had such range. I always liked her in films, she has presence, that’s for sure. But in this film, she’s like nothing she’s ever played before. Even while playing perhaps the worst mother ever put on film (she makes Faye Dunaway’s Joan Crawford look like a peach), Mo’Nique’s Mary is captivating. 

The end scene with Mariah Carey, Gabourey and Mo’Nique is one of the most powerful and empowering scenes I’ve seen in a long time. This is where we see Mary for who she really is and this is where we see Precious come in to her own as person, as a mother and as someone who will fight for the future she knows she deserves.

I didn’t cry while I was watching this film, but afterwards, when I was telling my mother about it, I broke down. Partly because Precious’ situation is so horrible and all too real and partly because she is a stronger person than I’ll ever be and I feel proud of her overcoming all that she did. I’m not sure I’ve ever related so strongly to a character that didn’t resemble me or my situation in life in any way before. That’s what I call powerful filmmaking.


About Marya E. Gates

Cinephile to the max.

Posted on January 22, 2010, in Review, the Academy Awards and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have been afraid to watch this movie and yet interested because of the buzz. Your review encourages me to risk it.

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