Yesterday, Mo'nique received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the movie "Precious," the film based on the novel Push by Sapphire. She deserved it. Indeed, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Gabourey Sidibie should all just be handed Golden Globes and Oscars right now.
This movie was so good and so hard and so raw and so real that at times I felt as if I were a voyeur inside the real life of any number of young women that I see on any given day walking the streets of New York.
Precious deals with a range of issues from incest, physical abuse, teen pregnancy, literacy, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and race. The truth is that the American cinema rarely deals well with ONE of those issues, and most films that attempt to not only address more than one of these issues but also to demonstrate the very real interconnections between these issues and their attendant oppressions, usually the movie falls flat or has to resort to being a musical (Rent anyone?). This movie not only addresses these issues but maintains a realism that for anyone that has struggled with any of these issues, you feel as if your story is being told to you from the silver screen, and it is not always a comfortable feeling.
I saw this film with my friend Kenyon, and at one point, he just laid his hand on my leg in comfort, and I was glad to have him nearby. Watching this film with another person of African descent, someone that I know understands many of the issues discussed in this film, made all the difference. When the two young black women walked out of the movie after a particularly difficult scene, I didn't wonder why. Watching it is not for the weak of heart or for anyone that is not in a good head place and soul space.
But it is a movie that everyone should see. I think what made the movie work, and I came to this conclusion after a Facebook conversation with my friend Cindy, was that everyone in the movie was ridiculously humble. With the stars attached to this movie, it could have easily have become a Divafest. Anyone one of the megastars attached to the film could have out shined the newcomer, Sidibie, but they all understand that the story they were telling was greater than themselves. Hell, to be real, I knew Mariah Carey was in the movie, and I was staring right at her and did not register the woman on the screen with the pop star.
Do yourself a favor. Go and see Precious. I guarantee that no other movie that came out in 2009 is anywhere near the quality of this movie. Prepare for an Oscars sweep.