Precious Movie Review Essay Sample

Precious is a girl who is so shy and shut down, She is very quiet to the point that she hardly speaks to anyone and is nearly illiterate. As the story is told, she conceives a child from a rape that occurred to her. Precious tries her very best to fit in with others, but as she struggles in school is treated with mocking cruelty. She is a girl obviously in a lot of pain and shame. Even though her mother is always angry her she vows to happily find her purpose in life. She feels that she can positively make a life for herself with the help she found in a counselor who treats her with respect and fully understands her pain and suffering. This is such an amazing actress who has powerfully done a remarkable film. I truly recommend those young girls who are going through the same situation to see this wonderfully done film.

Second paragraph

I have to compare my life as the second paragraph to the first, because I can relate to the worse of situation that Precious went through in her life. In my life I have felt like Precious never having that feeling of being the sweetest person. I always felt cheaper that most girls. It was a hard life to live, but as I got older I became wiser and I felt as though I was the luckiest girl to have survived such an ordeal. Sometimes life never paints the prettiest picture of the life we would like to have live, but being determine and having the faith to survive is the most powerful thing anyone can have. I have a son and a daughter and I vowed to be a strong mom for them. I have two of the smartest kids a mom can have and because of them I live a joyous life.

The star TV talk-show hostess Oprah Winfrey has been involved over the years in three significant movies based on celebrated novels by black authors. In 1985, she appeared as a natural rebel alongside Whoopi Goldberg in Steven Spielberg's skilful, soft-centred adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple about the oppression of black women in the Deep South, the need for sisterhood and the romance of Africa.

In 1998, she produced and starred in Jonathan Demme's film of Toni Morrison's Beloved. In this ambitious failure, Winfrey played the runaway slave who kills her baby rather than see her recaptured by white pursuers and, a decade after the Civil War, is haunted by the child's ghost. Now she is the ­co-producer of Lee Daniels's Precious, adapted by Geoffrey Fletcher from Push, the bestselling 1996 novel by Ramona Lofton, the writer and performance poet who styles herself "Sapphire".

Made on a much smaller budget, Precious is a simpler, tougher work than the two preceding films and altogether more effective. The setting is Harlem in 1987, the central character the obese 16-year-old black girl Claireece Jones, known as "Precious", unforgettably played in her first professional role by the vast, imposing Gabourey Sidibe, daughter of a New York gospel singer and a Senegalese father. Precious is illiterate, aggressive, constantly tormented by fellow high-school pupils and abused, both physically and verbally by her alcoholic mother and father. She has a daughter with Down's syndrome by her father, who constantly rapes her with the mother's connivance and is pregnant again by him. Later, it's revealed that the father has died of Aids.

You might well ask who is in the market for such a film and one thinks of Eliot's smug statement: "Humankind cannot bear much reality" and those newsreaders who preface horrendous reports from Haiti with the warning: "There are scenes some viewers may find disturbing." But over the years there have been a number of highly acclaimed pictures of this kind. Just after the Second World War, for instance, there was a widely shown Danish picture called Ditte, Child of Man, about the unremittingly miserable life of an illegitimate, working-class girl with a drunken mother, a brutal stepfather who was raised in poverty, seduced and abandoned.

The following year, in 1947, Rossellini's Germany, Year Zero, the most despairing of neorealist movies, charted the destruction of a 13-year-old orphan in the ruins of Berlin. More recently, there's Robert Bresson's religious allegory Mouchette (1967), about the endless humiliations heaped upon a teenage country girl in a remote French community that ends with her suicide. But these were art-house productions aimed at middle-class audiences, not from Hollywood and targeting mainstream viewers.

Precious certainly is unflinching in the presentation of its heroine's life and prospects. The brief impressionistic scenes in which she's raped are horrendous and the confrontations with her mother Mary (a performance of extraordinary courage by the stand-up comedienne Mo'Nique) tear at one's guts through their language and their violence.

But from very early on, Precious invites our sympathy, her first aggressive act being an attack on two boys who disrespect a white teacher she admires. She has an inner life in which she imagines herself a star. Worthy of a love she can't find, she's struggling to find meaning in her life.

An understanding principal arranges for her to go to a special school that offers remedial education through a programme called Each One/Teach One, where she encounters an sympathetic teacher and some fellow outsiders. The teacher, Ms Rain (Paula Patton), helps her come to terms with her life through writing about it and to learn she is capable of being loved. The girls in her new class are all bruised and scarred in different ways and involve her in volatile exchanges that are sometimes violent, but also roughly comic. A lot of the film is, indeed, edgily funny, as in a moment where the other girls laugh when Precious says "insect" instead of "incest" and she comes back: "Are you a scientist now?"

Another practitioner of tough love (or what we used to call being cruel only to be kind) is a perceptive social worker, Mrs Weiss (Mariah Carey), whose ethnic identity and social background intrigue Precious. Weiss presides over a final confrontation in her office between Precious and her mother. Earlier, we've seen Mary deceive an easily convinced welfare inspector into believing she's a loving mother. Now, the mother is drawn into a confessional breakdown, explaining how she came to persecute her daughter; Mo'Nique's handling of the moment is a tour de force.

There are other revealing and moving scenes. Precious, for instance, is introduced to the notion of organic food (though it doesn't take) by a thoughtful male nurse. His job is as much a revelation to her as the discovery that Ms Rain is in a stable lesbian relationship. More than incidentally, there is on the wall of the gay couple's apartment a poster for the surprise 1976 Broadway hit, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Ntozake Shange's landmark "choreo poem" about the social and moral empowerment of African-American women. The show no doubt influenced Sapphire as a writer.

Precious ends on an affirmative note that is sufficiently hopeful to let the audience leave the cinema without rushing to find a strong drink or a lethal dose of arsenic, but is yet consistent with its heroine's situation. The film does not, however, address itself to any larger social context. We have experienced a story, not read a case history.

The excellent cinematography, mostly raw but on occasion appropriately romantic, is the work of the British cameraman, Andrew Dunn, whose films include Gosford Park and the original BBC series Edge of Darkness.

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