Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Film Review by Gail Tolley | 25 Jan 2010
  • Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Film title: Precious: Based on the novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Director: Lee Daniels
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz
Release date: 29 Jan 2010
Certificate: 15


Lee Daniels’ hard-hitting depiction of the life of a Harlem teenager will, without doubt, make a big splash at the Oscars this year. It’s an uncompromising depiction of the horrifically deprived world of an overweight and illiterate 16-year-old called Precious, abused by her mother, raped by her stepfather and pregnant with her second child. What stands out most in the film are the remarkable performances, most notably Mo’Nique’s brutal portrayal of Precious’ abusive mother Mary. (Look out too for unexpected cameos from both Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz). Precious hammers home its point without compromise and as one horrific ordeal after another hurtles towards its young protagonist you might find yourself pleading in places for a more subtle approach. Yet it’s refreshing to see a director tackle such a pertinent topic and among its popular counterparts Precious stands out for its refusal to shy away from showing the darker side of life.