Precious (2009)

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At some point in Precious, damn near everything gets tossed, from Twizzlers to special children, from clichés to stolen fried chicken. This movie was better than I thought it would be, but it's still not great. The story's nothing new and the direction is rather messy. However, through everything terrible that happens to the titular character, the movie still manages to be entertaining and to retain a sense of hope. It's impressive that it never loses its humanity, despite its tragedy porn trappings. Mo'nique's final scene is particularly heartbreaking and sympathetic. As monstrous as her character is, she makes sure we see the human underneath. I want to be loved, too, Mary; I want to be loved, too.



Precious is the tragic tale of a 16-year-old overweight Black girl (played by Gaboure Sidibe) who remains strong through constant abuse principally inflicted on her by her mother Mary (played by Mo'Nique). The film provides a case study of how negative cycles can form from poverty and neglect over generations, and how through love, support, and courage this can begin to be overcome.

Though Precious is a largely depressing movie with tragic situation upon tragic situation throughout, the titular character Precious' fantasy sequences help to dilute. These sequences, though inconsistent in style (as well as acting), also provide insight and symbolism into Precious' world.

There are some questionable performances involved in the movie, particularly by Precious' teacher/saviour. However, there are surprisingly strong performances by musicians Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carrey. The most talked about performance given by Mo'Nique is in fact typical and moderately impressive for the majority of the film, and, to some extent, weak in the fantasy sequences. However, Mo'Nique's acting abilities can be unquestioned in her final scene with Mariah Carey in which her crazy really comes out.