Yesterday I had the opportunity to see the movie "Precious", and apart from being the most disturbing movie I have ever seen, it also opened a window to a world I did not know even existed. In fact, the movie was so disturbing, I had to turn it off a few times before I could continue watching it. And please note, if you decide to watch it, make sure any family members under the age of 18 are out of the house. I don't think anyone should be subject to that sort of language or visual content until they are mature enough not be traumatized. I'm only slightly younger than Methuselah, and it traumatized me. I had definite mixed feelings about the film, and about Gabourey Sidibe's performance. She was perfectly cast in the role, but it was obvious she had not had much acting experience. In most of her scenes, I had difficulty hearing what she was saying. She seemed to do what most new actors do -- she spoke a little too quickly and she mumbled. Only in her voice-overs was I able to clearly hear her. I wanted to love her performance, but I didn't. I loved her character, though, and Precious is a true hero overcoming almost insurmountable odds.
The film was produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry, and directed by Lee Daniels. A reviewer by the name of Armond White who writes for the New York Press had this to say: "Winfrey, Perry and Daniels make an unholy triumvirate. They come together at some intersection of race exploitation and opportunism."
Another reviewer called the movie "Social pornography at its worst, festering in racial self-loathing and oblivious to a system that ignores its neediest." I felt that way too, but I think the movie touched a chord with Oprah because it must have felt slightly autobiographical for her.
Mariah Carey was amazing as Precious's social worker, and she stole every scene she was in. The nuances of emotions that ran across her face and through her eyes was wonderful. Who knew Mariah Carey was such a good actress. Did she know she was such a good actress? Do we see an Oscar in her future? Well, I hope we see more roles with Mariah Carey. And of course Mo'Nique's performance was in a whole other stratosphere. She should have won the Academy Award for Best Actress.
I didn't like the movie "Precious", but then, I didn't like "The Hurt Locker" either and it won Best Picture. Maybe I need to put my rose colored glasses back on. Too often I am able to see exploitation and propaganda where other people are not. My emotions are not easily manipulated, and it kind of ruins the fun. As one reviewer said about the movie "Precious", "There is a thin line between compassion and voyeurism; soul-searing drama and overwrought melodrama; opera and Oprah. This film tramples all over it."
I'm afraid I agree... I wanted to like this movie, but I didn't care for it.