In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
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In Harlem, 1987. Sixteen year old Claireece Jones - who goes by her middle name Precious - is illiterate and overweight. She is pregnant with her second child, both children fathered by her biological father, who has continually raped her since she was a child, but who she doesn't see otherwise. Her infant daughter, Mongo - such named since she has Down Syndrome - lives with Precious' grandmother. Precious lives with her mother Mary, who abuses Precious both physically and emotionally. Mary does nothing but smoke, watch television and collect welfare through fraud (as she doesn't ever look for a job) and believes that education does nothing for Precious, who she would rather also collect welfare if only to bring money into the household. To escape her life, Precious often daydreams of herself in glamorous situations. Because of her current pregnancy, Precious' principal transfers her into an alternative school. In dealing with the school's sympathetic teacher Miss Blu Rain, Precious ...Written by
Holds the record for averaging US$100,000 per screen in fewer than 50 US theaters. See more »
When Ms Rain is trying to evaluate Precious' reading skills, and Precious doesn't respond, Ms Rain says, "I'm gonna call the nurse." We should see her in full motion, but Ms Rain gets up and immediately sits back down within two frames. There's a split second, yet obvious changeover/cut. See more »
Clareece 'Precious' Jones:
My name is Clareece "Precious" Jones. I wish I had a light-skinned boyfriend with real nice hair. And I wanna be on the cover of a magazine. But first I wanna be in one of them BET videos. Momma said I can't dance. Plus, she said who wants to see my big ass dancing, anyhow?
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Was That All It Was
Written by Jerry Butler, Linda Conlon, and John Ursy
Performed by Jean Carne
Courtesy of Philadelphia International Records and Sony Music Entertainment
By Arrangement with SONY Music Licensing See more »
Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is....Precious.
This is a film that might make some people a little uneasy. It deals with family abuse in the form of rape, physical and verbal violence. The one character it follows is Precious, an overweight illiterate teenage girl who is pregnant with her second child from her biological father. She is kicked out of her school because of her pregnancy and is enrolled in another educational institution called each one teach one. She wants to do better things, but doesn't have the will or motivation because of the constant abuse at the hands of her mother. She day dreams about being a big star and getting out of the hellish life she lives.
The film is raw with the material and doesn't really hold any punches. Lee Daniels second feature film shows vast improvement over the messy Shadowboxer starring Cuba good Jr. His grasp of the material and dedication to have the story be told is evident in his attention to translate the novel to screen. Daniels has put together a cast that care about the subject matter and the story as much as he does and is surrounded by the talent that is needed to pull it off.
Gabourey Sidibe is Precious, the troubled teen wanting more out of life. She shines in her first starring role and it's no walk in the park for her. The role demanded talent and Sidibe delivers what is needed. Of course the one who stands out the most is Mo'Nique earning herself a much deserved Oscar for her role as the abusive and sloth ridden mother. Her confrontation with her daughter after the birth of the second child is intense and will have you holding your breath in fear for the safety of the child.
Precious is a film that is driven by a strong story and an emotional cast that cares about the work they are doing. It's a glimmer of hope that keeps the story moving in a world that is hard edged and usually leads nowhere. It's not a relatively long film, but I did find myself checking my watch every now and then and some bits in the film happen without much clarification. Where did that one white boy come from in her Each One Teach One class? In any event, the final product is a good film with a message about hope and Tyler Perry finally has his name attached to something good in his career (Star Trek not included).
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