7.3/10
87,664
275 user 321 critic

Precious (2009)

R | | Drama | 20 November 2009 (USA)
Trailer
1:02 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
1,749 ( 188)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 111 wins & 95 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crazy Heart (2009)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director: Scott Cooper
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell
Documentary | Crime | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Alex Gibney exposes the haunting details of the USA's torture and interrogation practices during the War in Afghanistan.

Director: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two documentary filmmakers chronicle their time in Sonagchi, Calcutta and the relationships they developed with children of prostitutes who work the city's notorious red light district.

Directors: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman
Stars: Kochi, Avijit Halder, Shanti Das
Milk I (2008)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch
The Iron Lady (2011)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Stars: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant
The Queen (2006)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After the death of Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II struggles with her reaction to a sequence of events nobody could have predicted.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family.

Director: Luc Jacquet
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Charles Berling, Romane Bohringer
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The life story of singer Édith Piaf.

Director: Olivier Dahan
Stars: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Dreamgirls (2006)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Al Gore's personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change in the most talked-about documentary at Sundance.

Director: Davis Guggenheim
Stars: Al Gore, Billy West, George Bush
Ray I (2004)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Regina King, Kerry Washington
Man on Wire (2008)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."

Director: James Marsh
Stars: Philippe Petit, Jean François Heckel, Jean-Louis Blondeau
Edit

Cast

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

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:

 »
Edit

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)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$47,536,959 (USA) (5 March 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Claireece Precious Jones was born in 1971. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, when Mary attempts to hit Precious with the frying pan, she has no cigarette in her mouth. However, in the next shot, she does. 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

References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Love Is the Message
Written by Kenny Gamble (as Kenneth Gamble) and Leon Huff
Performed by MFSB featuring The Three Degrees
Courtesy of Philadelphia International Records And SONY Music Entertainment
By Arrangement With Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a work of art
8 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gabourey Sibide looks and sounds a lot like the late Hattie McDaniel; if a biopic about McDaniel is ever made, Sibide should star. Starting from this superficiality, it is clear that the character Sibide plays, an abused, obese late- 20th-century Harlem teenager three or four generations down the line from the McDaniels era, seems to embody a sadly ironic regression in the status of black women in America. Precious's very existence and her debased environment speak to a grave social disease that continues to poison our civilization – the creation and perpetuation of a dependent underclass. At one point Precious compares her self image to "black grease that needs to be wiped away." The horror of it all is that as dreadful as Precious's situation is, she is actually better off than many others in similar straits. She is, despite obesity, strong and healthy, drug free and has a beautiful smile. There are plenty of underclass females much closer to an early grave and utter hopelessness than she.

The story takes us on the journey of this monstrously mistreated young female from near destruction at the hands of her violent, hyper-narcissistic mother (Mo'Nique) and her rapist father (who has impregnated her twice by age 16) to a rescue with the help of a frayed but still somewhat viable network of dedicated social workers who help her gain literacy and independence from her wicked elders.

Interspersed with the depressing realities of ghetto life is the constant flow of Precious's glamorous daydreams, the little fires generated by her undying spark of life, her only opening toward beauty and light, imagining herself wrapped in beautiful gowns, doted on by handsome men, cheered by adoring crowds on the red carpet; wealth, fame, as she knows them from the pop culture that is her only mental nourishment. For her mother and for herself, life is an endless round of TV–food–arguments-TV–food-arguments. In their dark and dingy apartment, practically the only illumination is from the TV screen.

Mo'Nique's performance is revelatory on multiple levels, down to the bone of the human condition and certainly up to the highest screen standards. It is bravura work. Sibide's performance is technically masterful but much of her effectiveness comes from her imposing physical presence; this is not meant to detract one iota from her acting skills – it is just a fact. The excellent supporting performances include a pleasing turn from singer Mariah Carey as a down-to-earth social worker with a playful personality; it's an inventive characterization. But the whole cast excels and they should be honored for great ensemble work, especially the young ladies in the special education classroom.

Flaws? The pacing seems to slow down unnecessarily toward the end and Precious's educational progression seems a bit confused and not completely fleshed out, but this is minor stuff. This is a very inspired work of art by someone with a fresh vision. It is not preaching morals or slogans, just revealing truth.


128 of 198 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Impossible... just impossible harad123
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
Where was the father ? Gada96
Why was Precious so mean to her neighbour? carollia
Discuss Precious (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?