I just walked out of the theater and in the light, cold rain, back to my Radisson Hotel off the 75 freeway in Dallas. I’m a little uneasy about this film. Not because it wasn’t good, because it was a great movie. It was the subject matter and the ugly, angry reality of it. I feel uneasy because newcomer Lee Daniels directs the actors to the rawest levels of humanity. And it is here that we see even the most evil of people, having basic human feelings. I can’t relax. I can’t feel happy. But I can have hope. And that’s what this film does. Give hope. Because if you have hope when you are in a horrible place, a place where there is no light, no joy, no purpose, then it can flourish anywhere. How can you go on in a world like this? Well, Precious can. And she shows the way for anyone.
I don’t have any sarcastic comments or snarky film nerd humor. Just an honest appreciation for a well made film. If I am emotionally affected when I leave a theater, then it was a good piece of filmmaking. What made if hard to take was I know this is real. Maybe this film is not a real life story, but this type of suffering and abuse goes on every day. Knowing that makes me want to curl up and never go outside. How can people be so awful to each other and then others be so good? This film shows you both.
The story of Precious Jones is played by amazing newcomer, Gabourney Sidibe, who gives a portrayal of a teenage incest survivor and how she copes with the unfair brutality of her life. A rich fantasy life is her only out. These scenes are cute and funny at first but put against he evil of her life, become very very sad. Comedian Mo’Nique breaks into the dramtic world with a huge bang. The performance of Precious’, abusive, welfare mom is painfully real. The scene in the welfare office with a dressed down Maria Carey is gripping. Only a gifted actress could pull off a scene like that and Mo’Nique did. Drawing from her own abuse as a teenage gives her character three dimensions. Dimensions that that show a complete person, not Hollywood cookie cutter antagonist. I hope both these women get Oscar nods.
The supporting cast is great and real. They fill in the frame to give the viewer a total image of this young girl and the world she lives in. Like hipster rock star, turned male nurse, Lenny Kravitz. You see all these people who are part of a broken system, not as cliché heartless government workers, but real people with heart and soul. Heart and soul that tries to help a lost child who fell through the cracks. Daniels strips away the bubble-town glam and puts them with little to no makeup on the big screen. Big enough to see the lines in faces that have seen too much. I love this film and hope that with the new 10 best pic nods, it gets what it deserves. Go see this film, because it will PALM STRIKE the trophy case come Oscar time.