Precious (played by Gabourey Sibide) is a 16 year old obese girl living in Harlem in the late 1980’s. Her life is tough and for anyone not used to seeing it, it is eye-boggling. She is illiterate, pregnant for the second time as a result of rape by her father, an outcast at school and she is mentally abused by her mother (played by Mo’Nique). With all this to contend with for someone so young, she still has a will to make good in her life so she goes along with a suggestion that she attend a new special school. Here, her new teacher (by Paula Patton) believes in tough love. Due to her circumstances, she also has another important relationship in her life, with her social worker (played by Mariah Carey). The story follows a portion of Precious’ life through her pregnancy to the birth of her second baby, it explores the challenges life throws her way, her new outlook since attending the different school and her relationships.
The film was directed by Leigh Daniels and has been adapted from the novel “Push” by New York poet Sapphire. The brutality in Precious’ life is shocking, the treatment from her mother is cruel and violent and Precious’ utter desparation is palpable. There are no hints in this movie, it is all there for you to see. As a newcomer, Gabourey Sibide’s performance is exceptional, as is the portrayal of Precious’ mother by Mo’Nique which warrants her Best Supporting Actress Oscar and several other similar awards in 2009. An excellent movie.