Precious: Based On the Novel ‘Push’ By Sapphire
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by: Geoffrey Fletcher (screenplay), Sapphire (book)
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carrey, and Paula Patton
Who wants to watch a movie about an illiterate fat girl from Harlem? After seeing director Lee Daniels’ fiercely, unapologetically honest Precious, you will add yourself to that list.
This movie had a lot to prove. With a cast of either unknown, inexperienced, or ill-reputed fame, it proved to have one of the best ensembles of 2009. With almost no budget, no hype, and no help but what was on the screen, it won over crowds at the Sundance Film Festival and got Oprah to endorse it. In a way, this movie struggled much like its protagonist.
On the surface, this film seems conventional. At a glance, it appears to be yet another urban tale about a poverty stricken youth escaping the clutches of the ghetto. Then again, if this film teaches you anything, it’s to never take anything at a glance again. Daniels makes sure you look straight on into the eyes and life of a person that you would typically pass on the street and write off as stupid and fat.
In a way, the life of Clareece ‘Precious’ Jones plays out like that of a horror movie (Frankenstein, not Friday the 13th). She doesn’t know who she is or what she is capable of, all thanks to the lack of love present in her creators. Where many see home as a place of haven to escape the world, Precious sees it as the strongest part of the storm. Abused by her mother and raped by her father, Precious would interpret the phrase “There’s no place like home, “ much differently than most.