The multi-Golden Globe nominated Precious is a difficult movie. Adjectives and accolades don’t work here. Precious is something you have to see and experience to understand.
The title character is a 16 year old, obese black girl from the ghetto. Obese — of course — is a relative term. The girl is huge, probably exceeding 300 pounds. Raped and impregnated twice by her father, physically and sexually abused by her mother and illiterate, Precious’ future gets a score of about zero.
Barely making it academically in high school, Precious is transferred to an alternative school when the authorities learn she is pregnant. It is the break of a lifetime. There, Precious meets a teacher with the patience and love of the art of teaching to reach her. The new situation is good, but don’t expect a happy Hollywood experience. Act two doesn’t set up a crisis that ends with happily ever after in act three.
Pain rains on every page of Geoffrey Fletcher’s script and director Lee Daniels’ (Shadowboxer) movie.
Gabourey Sidibe’s flat, defeated performance as Precious is exceptional and — ironically — gives life to the lifeless. She and Mo’Nique, playing Precious’ mother, got deserved Golden Globe nominations. So did the picture.
Precious isn’t a film that fits everyone. It is uncomfortable. Her dilemma is unfathomable. In an uncommon way, Daniels tells us it is more common than we know.
Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars
Rated R for mature themes, language, violence. It opens Friday, Dec. 18 at the Carmike 12.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.