If you hear anything at all about Precious before seeing it, you’ll probably expect a depressing, unpleasant experience. Your assumption would be correct. To Sir, With Love, this movie ain’t.
But director Lee Daniels’s drama is worth viewing for at least two reasons. No matter where you stand on the welfare issue, Daniels’s film will probably convince you that there are two types of people on public assistance — those who truly deserve it, and those who do not.
Which brings me to the second reason Precious is worth seeing: the Oscar-winning performance by Mo’Nique as the ultimate “welfare queen.” You do not want to haggle with this character over food stamps.
And yet, social issues and great performances aside, Precious is a movie that, I think, is not as accessible as it aspires to be. Try as I might, this middle-class, middle-aged, white male reviewer simply could not much relate to Precious’s nightmarish world. God knows that is not a complaint, just an observation. Grade: B+
Director: Lee Daniels Cast: Gabourey “Gabbie” Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd Release: 2009
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