DVD: Precious (15)
Friday 21 May 2010
Claireece "Precious" Jones (played elegantly by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe) is no ordinary 16-year-old black girl growing up in 1980s Harlem.
Precious is pregnant with her second child by her rapist father. She is also viciously psychologically and physically abused by her mother, portrayed with gasp-inducing vileness by comedian Mo'Nique, who won an Oscar for her performance.
Luckily, an incident at school draws attention to the scarred, severely overweight and illiterate Precious, and she is encouraged to sneak off to special education classes. With the help of an angelic teacher and stereotyped classmates, who at least offer comic relief, she begins to find herself.
However, despite the motivational posters that pop up the background, to be expected from a film co-produced by talk-show queen Oprah, this is not a Cinderella story.
In roles that could easily have tainted the film with deluded celebrity attempts to bring "real life" to the screen, Mariah Carey's bling-free portrayal of Precious's badass social worker is surprisingly skilful, and Lenny Kravitz manages to contribute more than just cameo eye-candy.
Directed by Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels, and adapted from the bestselling novel by poet 'Sapphire', Precious does not fully get to grips with the prejudices of poverty, race and obesity that it raises, and some critics say, sadly upholds. But as a tale of one girl's tragic life – it is raw, powerful and extraordinarily touching.
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Broadchurch series 3: David Tennant and Olivia Colman to return for third season, ITV confirms
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies: Georgian guide to London sex workers acquired by Wellcome Collection
House of Cards season 3: Claire Underwood is based on an eagle, says Robin Wright
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut