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Precious (II) (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  20 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 79,957 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 269 user | 319 critic | 36 from Metacritic.com

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.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Angelic Zambrana ...
Aunt Dot ...
Barret Helms ...
Tom Cruise (as Barret Isaiah Mindell)


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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Precious: Base on Nol by Saf (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire)  »

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,872,458 (USA) (6 November 2009)


$47,536,959 (USA) (5 March 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mo'Nique accepted her role to raise awareness of sexual abuse. A confessed victim of incest herself, the actress had great reservations about playing the part, but ultimately found the experience therapeutic. See more »


When Precious steals the fried chicken, she runs out of the restaurant leaving her Each One Teach One notebook behind. The very next scene shows her finishing the chicken and going to class - where they all write in their Each One Teach One notebooks. See more »


[first lines]
Clareece 'Precious' Jones: [voiceover] 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?
See more »


Features 227 (1985) See more »


Soul Holidays
Written by Jimmy Jam (as James Samuel Harris III), James Quenton Wright, Ann Nesby, Jamecia Bennett (as Jamecia V. Bennett) and Terry Lewis
Performed by Sounds of Blackness
Courtesy of A&M Records
Under License From Universal Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Powerfully emotive story filled with hope and optimism
25 January 2009 | by (Park City) – See all my reviews

I'm not surprised that Push won both the Grand Jury and Audience Award at Sundance this year. Director Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer) has created a very powerful film that manages to entertain while evoking a broad spectrum of emotions, from anger and heartbreaking pity to optimism, joy and hope.

Clareece "Precious" Jones (Gabby Sidibe) is a fat 16-year-old illiterate black girl that lives in Harlem with her welfare-dependent, abusive mother (Mo'Nique). She has one autistic daughter (who lives with her grandmother) and is pregnant with another child, both from her mother's boyfriend, who is also Clareece's father. Her mother repeatedly tells her how stupid and worthless she is while other kids taunt her for her obesity. She has become hardened and heartless, lacking education and social skills. She spends her time cooking for her mother and fantasizing unrealistically about a glamorous life. She would be easy to dismiss. Based on a novel by Sapphire, this is some pretty bleak stuff.

But good things can happen in this world and Precious is blessed with an indomitable spirit that refuses to accept the negative reinforcement that bombards her. Through her efforts, and despite resistance from her mother, she finds an alternative school. It is staffed by Miss Rains, a caring teacher (Paula Patton) and classmates who, although anything but perfect, possess enough compassion to become supportive friends. It turn out that the world can be a pretty good place.

First-time actress Gabby Sidibe gives a powerful, emotive performance. Equally good is talented actresses Mo'Nique, who is almost frightening as Precious' mother, and Patton as the compassionate teacher. Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey also have minor roles, giving the film a little star power.

Daniels conveys a Harlem existence that is profane, hard-edged and brutal, but with rays of humanity and compassion that leave room for hope. It is at once both a message to the poor in spirit not to despair, and to the rest of us make the time and effort to reach out where we can. Push is an inspiring message that will fill you with optimism and joy.

Sundance Moment: When asked about her getting the role, Sidibe said that she had some acting experience--like a non-speaking role in a college production. Pretty funny! She said her friends encouraged her to audition because she "fit the profile." She also said she relied heavily on "Mr. Daniels" for direction. Daniels said there were parts of making the movie that were hard on him emotionally--like directing Precious to eat, or instructing her peers to bully her.

108 of 165 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
did her mom molest her? oundjianm
Precious' mom was severly mentally ill. dogma66605
I didn't see any white people involved in the film carollia
Why was Precious so mean to her neighbour? carollia
Where was the father ? Gada96
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