Precious

Ok before I start let me say that this is obviously a tragic story and first time actress Gabourney Sidibe’s performance is the powerful core of the film and I’m not going to knock it for that, but unfortunately ‘Precious’ fails to be the five star movie everyone from the lowliest critic to Oprah is banging on about. The story centred on Clareece Precious Jones is one of a life of pain, abuse, ridicule, torture and more, it’s a life that no one would want to be born into. As the film begins we find out that illiterate and abused overweight sixteen year old Precious is being kicked out of school for being pregnant with her second child by her father, yes its that dark, but don’t forget this is a story of hope. Hope comes in the form of a special school called ‘Each one Teach one’ in which Precious learns to read and write amongst other lessons in life from her classmates and her empathetic teacher Ms.Rain. The narrative follows Precious as she develops, faces her demons, gives birth and recalls abuse all with a very gritty in your face style. But the glaring problem with it all is the dream sequences that Precious goes into at the first sign of impending violence. They are brash, colourful and over the top which makes getting back into the story after one of these segments hard, which for me broke the emotional thread. Also these fantasy set pieces are all very vacuous and reality Tv trashy, film star, model, singer etc not one of these is a fantasy about just not being where she is. I would have related more if there was a really humble dream of just being in a nice house with her children but instead we get the amped up, dare I say Americanized, high gloss sheen. I know the old adage that we all aspire to be famous, loved etc but if your starving would you dream of owning a whole supermarket or just a modest meal? It seemed to me that these factors clashed far too much for the film to flow at a pace that fitted the story and for the return that the makers expected from the audience.  With great little roles from Mariah Carey (I know I cant believe I said that either) and Lenny Kravitz its not all bad but I cant help that feel in the hands of a British director this would have been a much simpler and ultimately better film.

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