NEVER SEEN IT: Precious

precious_dvd

BY ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI

Date released: November 20, 2009

Date watched: August 7, 2013

Why now? Because it just seems like a movie that I should have seen/would want to see/need to see in order to sate my own incessant need to watch everything that everyone has ever talked about. That and it comes from Lee Daniels, the director of Monster’s Ball — love! — and the upcoming release The Butler.

Why not then? Full disclosure: I was going through a really rough time — the kind of rough time where you only watch nostalgic comfort movies — when this movie came out and wasn’t hellbent on seeing anything new. When it came out on DVD, it must have flown under my radar. I’d heard really good things, but just wasn’t in a place to watch anything other than Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and The Godfather for the thousandth time.

Expectations:

  • A really emotional account of one young black woman’s troublesome upbringing and how she managed to make something of herself, in spite of her roots
  • Mariah Carey, looking absolutely nothing like Mariah Carey (I remember the trailer vividly).
  • A story with underlying (or maybe not so much) messages about racism, neglectful parenting and female empowerment, and what they can all do to someone’s life.
  • A sad look at how Americans let today’s youth fall through the cracks in educational institutions.
  • A pile of tissues next to me by the end of the flick.

What I actually got:

  • A heartwrenching story about Precious, an illiterate teenage girl who is pregnant for the second time at 16 years old (both times at the hand of her deadbeat father…. yeah, I know… eww). Precious is neglected by her angry mother, who feels she’s the one who was responsible for driving her father away, even though it was the father that raped Precious, and not Precious who seduced her father (duh).
  • Precious realizing her potential, in spite of her roots, her shortcomings and the terrible hand she’d been dealt in life.
  • A very powerful and compelling performance by Gabourney Sidibe, who plays Precious and so deserved her Oscar nomination!
  • My faith somewhat restored in the American education system and the comforting thought that they may actually give a damn. Yay!
  • Oh heyyyy, Paula Patton, Sherri Sheppard, Lenny Kravitz and no makeup Mariah!
  • A (small) pile of tissues next to me, right around the one hour mark.
  • Proof that it really doesn’t matter where you come from, but only where you’re going (excuse the cliché, but it really is fitting  in this case).

One night-in stand or second date potential? It was definitely a powerful story and really makes you feel for people in awful, terrible, unthinkable situations. But, cinematically, it was a little slow. I’m sure eventually I’ll watch it again if it’s on TV or something, but I think I’ve taken enough away out of the movie to be OK if I don’t watch it again soon.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpU8rJ_ZwOs]

 

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