Okay, I lied. There will be one more post in addition to this one. When a movie affects me as Precious has, promises like the one in my last post must be broken.
Shocking. Brutal. Audible gasps from the audience during the movie (some from me). And yet, there’s some humor. Hope. And much despair. Excellent performances from Mo’Nique (as Precious’s mother, Mary) and Gabourey Sibide (as Precious herself). Both should be nominated for Oscars, and both might win. Great supporting performances, as well, from the likes of Lenny Kravitz (as a nurse’s assistant) and Mariah Carey (as a welfare worker), especially the latter. I thought Paula Patton (as Ms. Rain, Precious’s teacher) a little too cliched in the heroic teacher role (for example, there are way too many shots of her face beaming as she looks at Precious, though then again, who wouldn’t be proud of how this girl, this young woman, is reacting to the challenges in her life?), but she also gives a good performance, if one that pales in comparison to what Mo’Nique and Sibide do, and even to what Carey does.
The camerawork has a gritty, handheld quality to it (punctuated by quick close-ups and framings) that works with the material. But it’s the performances that carry this film, with smart, intelligent dialog that always strikes the right chord. No cheesy throwaway lines here. One of the year’s best films.
For anyone wanting to read a proper review, here are two:
Roger Ebert’s review of Precious: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091104/REVIEWS/911059999
Grace Wang’s review of Precious: http://etheriel.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/push-precious-just-push/