Starring: Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton
Directed by: Lee Daniels (“Shadowboxer”)
Written by: Geoffrey Fletcher (debut)
Set in Harlem in 1987, “Precious” is a raw and harrowing film about the life of a 16-year-old obese and illiterate African American girl played miraculously by newcomer Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe. Precious is pregnant for the second time with her father’s child. Along with fantasizing about a life that isn’t hers (she wants a light-skinned boyfriend, dreams to be a model, and sees a beautiful white girl when she looks into the mirror), Precious attempts to survive every day she lives in the home of her despicable mother (comedienne Mo’Nique in a career-defining dramatic role) who blames her for everything that has gone wrong in her life. When Precious joins an alternative school program, her classmates and teacher (Paula Patton) tap into her soul and help her define what kind of young woman she aspires to become. There is a sense of hope inside “Precious,” but audiences will have to get through extremely upsetting scenes if they want to see the moral of the story director Lee Daniels establishes. The tough road, however, is where the powerhouse performances are. Both Sidibe and Mo’Nique especially deserve Oscar nominations for their work in this abrasive yet inspiring film.