Wednesday, August 11, 2010

In the ghetto

The next time you have a bad day and find yourself wondering "How much worse could things get?", watch Precious to get a swift kick off of the self-pity train.

Precious is one of those films that breaks your heart and then fills it back up again. The story of a girl in the worst possible circumstances that rises up the second she is given the chance.

More than that, this movie is the story of the other America. The one that most of us don't know about, don't want to know about, or forget is there. Where people have to make choices and do things the rest of us would never dream us. Hard knock does not begin to describe it. Precious is stuck where she is because she cannot afford anything else. It is only after someone helps her that she is able to really start to live her life. It makes me realize how badly some people need help, and how it seems there will never be enough social workers, there will never be enough caring teachers, and there will never be enough brave neighbors. Precious is lucky, but so many other kids, at this very moment, are falling through the cracks. And our world is poorer for it.

I don't know how the Academy passed over Gabourey Sidibe for Best Actress. She disappears into the role. Gabourey shows us a teen who is beat down, but somehow not completely broken. We see her emerge from the armor she has built around herself. This has to be one of the best
performances I've seen from a young actress. Physically and emotionally, she inhabits the character. Her narration is flawless, and Gabourey gives each facet of Precious' personality a nuanced and believability rarely seen. Too bad Sandra Bullock won the Oscar because she's popular, bankable and skinny pretty. I really cannot wait to see more from Miss Sidibe, and I will be most upset if she is cast as someone's chunky sidekick. She is a star who deserves to shine. This movie rests squarely on her shoulders, and she carries it with ease and care.
Monique deservedly won for Best Supporting. She contorts herself into Precious' monster of a mother with astonishing deft. She is, in turns, horrible, terrifying, vulnerable and pathetic. This will be a role that will go down in cinema history, referenced for generations to come as a
courageous display of pure talent.

The direction sets a perfect tone. Precious' reality is cold, dark and bleak, but her imagined world is vibrant and glossy. Things begin to lighten as Precious finds places to be safe. The viewer sees how Precious has created an inner world to escape the pain and abuse of her reality.
The book on which the film is based starts off with phonetically spelled words and a limited vocabulary, and progresses to show what Precious has learned and how she and her perception of things are changing. The cinematography does its best to mirror that technique, and does it

If you liked Mommie Dearest, Rudy, Monster, or The Breakfast Club, you'll like Precious.
Please don't miss this one, it is powerful and inspiring.

-- Noel
Sent from my T-Mobile Sidekick®



Bella Bath and Body said...

I just recently saw this movie, and it's been haunting me ever since.

I loved it, but wow it was a painful reminder of what the world is like for so many people. It's easy to forget how hard life can be for so many people when in reality I live a pretty comfortable life.

I've been extra thankful for the good things, and people I have in my life since seeing this movie.

Thanks for sharing it!

Noel said...

Reminds me of that song from White Christmas:
"When I'm feeling troubled and can't find sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep. And I fall asleep counting my blessings..."