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Precious (II) (2009)

R  |   |  Drama  |  20 November 2009 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 75,999 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 261 user | 315 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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Precious (2009)

Precious (2009) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 111 wins & 81 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

20 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

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

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£260,921 (UK) (29 January 2010)

Gross:

$47,536,959 (USA) (5 March 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1996, when the book upon which this movie is based was first published, it was titled "Push: A Novel." The film was likewise originally titled, "Push: Based on the Novel by Sapphire," but in February 2009, the movie title was changed to "Precious (Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire") to avoid confusion with the 2009 action film Push (2009). When the novel was republished in 2009, it was as a movie tie-in edition with cover art from the film, a common enough practice regarding books that have been turned into movies. What is unusual about the movie tie-in version of the book is that the book's title had also been changed to the movie's--which means that the book is now called "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire", even though it *is* the novel Push by Sapphire. See more »

Goofs

When Prescious is meeting with Mrs. Weiss for the first time, it appears that Mrs. Weiss is wearing only one earing on her right ear. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #1.16 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

It Took a Long Time
Written by Raymond Bloodworth, L. Russell Brown and Bob Crewe
Performed by LaBelle
Courtesy of Epic Records and The Columbia/Epic Label Group, A Unit of Sony Music Entertainment
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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.


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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
Mariah Carey's Scenes... ben-e-fitch
Why was Precious so mean to her neighbour? carollia
Mo'nique, Mo'nique, Mo'nique!!!! mcmillan_peter
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