Staff Picks

Precious

Precious
March 24, 2010

The scene is Harlem, New York, in 1987. Teenager Claireece Precious Jones (played by newcomer Gabourey Sibide in an absolutely fearless performance) is dirt poor, morbidly obese, semiliterate, and pregnant for the second time

--both courtesy of her own father (the first baby was born with Down syndrome). Her home life is several levels below Hell, as her bitter, vengeful welfare mother, Mary (Mo'Nique, in a role that has generated legitimate Oscar® buzz), abuses her both physically and otherwise...Yet somehow, the young woman still has hopes and dreams (depicted in a series of delightful fantasy sequences). She enrolls in an alternative school, where a young teacher (Paula Patton) takes her under her wing and even into her home, and visits a social worker (an excellent Mariah Carey; fellow pop star Lenny Kravitz is also effective as a male nurse) who further helps bring Precious out of the darkness. (Amazon)