In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
It's Harlem 1987. Sixteen year old Claireece Jones - who goes by her middle name Precious - is an illiterate, overweight black girl. She is pregnant with her second child, both children fathered by her biological father, who has continually raped her since she was a child, but who she doesn't see otherwise. Her infant daughter, Mongo - such named since she has Down Syndrome - lives with Precious' grandmother. Precious lives with her mother Mary, who abuses Precious both physically and emotionally. Mary does nothing but smoke, watch television and collect welfare through fraud (as she doesn't ever look for a job) and believes that education does nothing for Precious, who she would rather also collect welfare if only to bring money into the household. To escape her life, Precious often daydreams of herself in glamorous situations. Because of her current pregnancy, Precious' principal transfers her into an alternative school. In dealing with the school's sympathetic teacher Miss Blu Rain... Written by
In one of her meetings with her social worker, played by Mariah Carey, Precious asks "What color are you anyway, you some type of Black or Spanish?" Carey, who is of mixed ancestry (Irish, Black, Venezuelan), is often the subject of "what is she" speculation and discussion. See more »
Twenty minutes into the movie Precious encounters some rowdy boys hanging out on the street. They are listening to Queen Latifah's "Come Into My House", but that song was not released until 1989. The movie is set in 1987. See more »
Clareece 'Precious' Jones:
My name is Clareece "Precious" Jones. I wish I had a light-skinned boyfriend with real nice hair. And I wanna be on the cover of a magazine. But first I wanna be in one of them BET videos. Momma said I can't dance. Plus, she said who wants to see my big ass dancing, anyhow?
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I just saw this film at Sundance, and it was truly amazing. I confess I did not read the book (I will now), but I suspect that Daniels really took it to the next level. The story of Precious and her world was deeply moving and supremely well acted. I was particularly surprised at my own ability to laugh, along with the story, at the worst humanity can throw at us. After the film, Daniels, the producers, and the entire cast came forward to many standing ovations. Gabby was indeed charming, and I was particularly riveted by Mo'Nique's discussion of how she was able to become Mary, Precious' mother. Daniels fielded many questions from the audience, mostly directed at the task of realizing this story. I hope to see his work again. This is a heavy film, but I highly recommend it.
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