‘Precious: Based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire’
Director: Lee Daniels
Cast: Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey
Rating: R
Grade: ?????

 

Believe everything you hear about this movie — it will probably be the only time this season that the hype surrounding Oscar bait will be totally deserved.

 

Aside from director Lee Daniels’ overt efforts to brighten up this inherently dark tale of an abused, illiterate teenage girl growing up in Harlem (cutting to her flashy fantasies when she is about to endure some cruel unpleasantness becomes too forced by the third time it happens), “Precious” is gut-wrenching and raw. At the same time, it’s incredibly redeeming; as hopeful as the circumstances it depicts are hopeless.

 

The overwhelming trauma endured by Precious (played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) can draw guttural yelps from the audience at times, only because it all too effectively creates an authentic world that doesn’t play up the melodrama as much is it presents stark, awful truths.