“Precious,” adapted from the novel Push by Sapphire, is a gritty indie film directed by Lee Daniels about an obese and illiterate teen who is pregnant for a second time by her own father. Set in Harlem in 1987, the story follows Precious as she struggles with her insecurities and disastrous home life while using what resources she has to improve her life. Although, “Precious” has an impressive cast, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Sherri Shepherd, Paula Patton, and Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe in the starring role, Mariah and Mo’Nique’s performances are already generating Oscar buzz. Mariah strips off the makeup and glitz from her normal life and steps into the role of a social worker. Mo’Nique is terrifying as she plays Mary, Precious’ mother, who is both physically and verbally abusive and delusional. Mary has the power to crush all of Precious’ hopes. Gabby also gives a great performance in her acting debut for someone who auditioned on a whim. If the book is any indication, “Precious” won’t wallow in the bleak details of the main character’s life. Instead it captures an energy that is pushed along by anger and hope. If you need more encouragement to see this film when it opens Nov. 6, consider that it won three awards at the Sundance Film Festival, including the coveted Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.
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