Movie Review: PRECIOUS **We are all Precious**


A couple of weeks ago I walked into a dark movie theatre absolutely full to the brim with people staring intently at a cinema screen. On it was rather large girl dressed up in a ball gown, dancing as camera flashes go off around her.  It was the the London Film Festival screening of Lee Daniels’ highly anticipated movie ‘Precious’ and I was missing the beginning!

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…. Luckily the film had only just started so I quickly settled in my seat and put all of my focus on the screen. I looked at the audience and realised they were a more mixed bunch than I had anticipated – a great sign, meaning the buzz about this movie had reached the ‘mainstream’ somewhat!

In short, the movie was intense, immense and ultimately exhilarating. One of those films that leaves you with a swelled feeling in your chest, a lump in your throat and a deep desire to leave the theatre and do something amazing.

Precious’ life is harrowing and although few people have gone through what she did in the movie, her story isn’t unique. You can see yourself in aspectspreciousmother of Precious (Gabourey Sidibe), and the glimmer of hope and strength running as an undercurrent throughout the movie unites everyone.

In one scene, Precious & her mother (Mo’Nique – right) are having a physical fight and as she (Precious) falls down the stairs holding her new born baby, a collective gasp rippled through the audience. Then her mother throws a television set down the stairwell towards them. I tell you, the atmosphere could have been cut with a knife. Only when Precious and the baby roll away, just in time, does the audience as a whole exhale.

The relief was tangible. It was one of those rare moments of togetherness you get in a cinema full of strangers, all because of the films realness and Lee Daniel’s ability to capture the suspense and build up the momentum of a scene like that.

By the end, I could hear sobs and sniffs through the aisles and the kind of laughter that signifies relief and triumph. I’m sure everyone connected with Precious in some way, and I loved the fact that the ending was realistic! It wasn’t some fairytale ‘everything’s going to be fine now, you’re rich and famous and all of your dreams have come true’ Disney ending. It was believable, and most of all – satisfying.

pushI would highly recommend this movie, especially to young women, although I think it’s important for everyone to see. And if you haven’t read the book that it’s based on – ‘Push’ by Sapphire, I’d say read it before you see the film.

I’ll warn you that the book is graphic, bordering horrific at times and is a real eye opener but it’s page turning. Even though sometimes you’re scared to turn the page for what your eyes will read, but it’s compelling.

I love that Lee Daniels kept the film story so close to the books and included all of the important parts – don’t you hate when they change an adaptation so much that it’s almost unrecognisable? The film isn’t as X Rated as the book though, so don’t worry, your eyes won’t be burned by images you don’t care to see – real OR staged!

The cast is incredible – you won’t recognise Mariah, Paula Patton is just stunning, Mo’Nique is disgusting but SO good and Gabourey is so authentic! Oh and Lenny Kravitz is thrown in there for good measure too!

Lee Daniels outdid himself with the directing (I still need to see Monsters Ball though) and the camera work was fantastic – it had a kind of documentary feel to it, which is what made it so truthful I think.

This is definitely one to watch and the Oscar buzz is gonna be huge! With Tyler Perry & Oprah Winfrey backing it, I’m hoping it will be this years ‘Slumdog’!


L-R Lee Daniels (Director), Paula Patton, Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey & Lenny Kravitz


4 Responses so far »

  1. 4

    I actually just read the book this past weekend. It’s probably one of the most disturbing books I’ve ever read, next to American Psycho – and if you’ve read that, you know that’s saying something! I honestly had to put it down at times because it was just too emotionally hard to read. Thankfully, I came up in a very loving home and have never experienced anything like that, but it breaks my heart to think that for some girls, that’s their reality.

    It’s probably the wrong turn of phrase to say I’m ‘looking forward’ to the movie, but I’m glad it’s been made. It’s a story people need to hear.

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