Precious Review

Release Date (UK) – 29 January 2010
Certificate (UK) – 15
Country – USA
Director – Lee Daniels
Runtime – 110 mins
Starring – Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’nique, Mariah Carey. Lenny Kravitz

Precious is an Oscar tipped film and its troubling subject matter and original approach to a teen narrator its easy to see why. Based on a novel by Sapphire Precious tells the story of teenager ‘Precious’ (Gabourey Sidibe) and her struggle to cope with her abusive family. Seeking comfort in food she is overweight, and also illiterate, thus struggling to fit in with her peers at school and is suspended when she becomes pregnant (for the second time, both via rapes from her own father).

Mariah Carey is almost unrecognisable as Precious’ social worker and gives a surprisingly credible performance but its Sibide and Mo’nique as mother and daughter who really manage to portray their characters powerfully and empathetically. Precious mother is both physically and verbally abusive to Precious in scenes that are often harrowing to watch and may disturb sensitive viewers. However the film does tell its tale through a vehicle of hope for Precious, as she enrols at a special literacy school and begins to make friends and try to make something of her life.

The most original aspect of Precious is the films narration. It’s often hard to tell whether Precious is talking out loud or whether its an internal narration. Although this sounds like it may be jarring and confusing to watch its quite an interesting technique which works well and blurs conventional boundaries. The bright cinematography, superb direction and editing all combine to tell this upsetting story with just the right amount of tension and emotion to create a beautiful and emotional drama.

After critical acclaim at last years Sundance Film Festival Oprah Winfrey picked the film up to help promote it and its done no harm as Precious has already received 3 golden globe nominations and will probably continue to amass more nominations as awards season continues. Precious is quite an upsetting and often disturbing film to watch but its an emotional rollercoaster and is definitely one to watch.

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