I barely got this blog off the ground before I starting missing days of writing, and there’s really no excuse for it. So I’m back, and there’s no getting rid of me now.
I went to see the movie Precious today. It only took seeing the commercial once to know that it was going to be a movie that had something to say. And boy, did it ever. I don’t want to give away too much about the story, except that it’s about an extraordinarily resilient girl from Harlem who has gone through unthinkable (truly, unthinkable) things in her life, and somehow manages to get out of bed everyday. The film is set in 1987, but it’s a story that can take place today or 20 years from now. Precious is played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, and I have a feeling we’re going to get to see more of her in the future (she’s awesome- check out her moves on Ellen). She defines the role of Precious, and I can’t picture anyone else playing her. Gaby was born in Bed-Stuy, which makes me like her even more because I am inclined to like people who were born in the best borough. Mo’Nique plays Precious’ mother, and though the Oscar buzz for her performance is quickly spreading, it is such a despicable character that I have little to say about her (it’s too soon, I only left the theater a few hours ago). Lenny Kravitz has a small, but memorable part (to be honest, I was surprised that he could humble himself enough to play such a role), and Mariah Carey redeems herself for Glitter and any other project she has ‘acted’ in. Paula Patton (a.k.a. Mrs. Robin Thicke) plays Precious’ teacher, a true beacon of hope in her life. Sherri Shepherd also has a small part, and she is great, as she tends to be. The casting has a lot to do with what makes this movie so powerful; even though these were popular musicians or comedians stripped down and thrown into roles like we’ve never seen them in, their true identities disappear and their characters really became part of the story and part of Precious’ life.
The movie is based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire (Ramona Lofton), who herself has an interesting story. After a somewhat troubled life, she graduated from City College and went on to get her MFA from Brooklyn College (BK represent). I’d still like to figure out where the moniker came from (anyone know?).
Go and see Precious. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed with life lately, but I’m embarrassed to have even had those thoughts after witnessing this story that, while fictional, is everyday life for some people. I hope viewers learn from it and appreciate what they have in their own lives. Some of us may have it better than others, but when all is said and done, we are all precious.