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REVIEW: Precious

Forget Mariah Carey, this movie is filled with good acting

Courtesy photo

I remember when Seau’s the Restaurant opened in Mission Valley. I thought it was the stupidest name for a restaurant. I told my friends as we were in line to watch a boxing match there, and none of them seemed to mind the name.

I said “Why not just ‘Seau’s’?” One friend replied, “You wouldn’t know it was a restaurant.” To which I said, “Do you think people would go there thinking they sell football gear or something? Okay, then…they could go with Seau’s Restaurant, and drop the ‘the’.”

I didn’t realize two movies would come out the same year, both with titles more annoying than Seau’s the Restaurant.

Nicolas Cage starred in a film last year called Bad Lieutenant the Movie.

Okay, that was a joke. Although, it’s a better title than what Herzog went with. His movie was called Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans.

A slightly worse title (but a better movie) was Precious: Based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire.

I have no clue why it wasn’t just called Precious, or Push, or anything other than what they went with.

Under the long title on the movie poster, there should be a tagline that states: The feel bad movie of the year! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.

No, seriously…you’ll do both; more of the latter.

Enough about that. Let’s talk about the cast.

Gabourey “Gabbie” Sidibe is wonderful and well deserving of the Oscar nomination she got. When you see how funny and friendly she is in interviews, you realize that in her movie debut, she truly is acting. And how can you root against her winning the golden statue? Especially when a small part of me thinks she may have had a few problems in real life growing up, and I’d like to think she can enjoy the accolades she’s getting now.

Mo’Nique will definitely win the Best Support Actress Oscar, and it will be well deserved.

I had seen clips of her stand up and her horrible TV show. I think she should stick with acting. She’s got the chops. She plays such a horrible mother here…a mix of Joan Crawford, Nurse Ratchet, and Jason; a lot more evil than those three.

When I realized in one scene, she was considering her daughter a romantic rival to the awful man she was dating…I got a lump in my throat the size of the Bon Bons I was eating.

Mariah Carey got a lot of attention playing a caring social worker. She was okay, but I found it odd she got so much praise merely because she didn’t wear make-up. I guess for a diva, that’s the equivalent of DeNiro gaining 40 pounds for Raging Bull.

Another musician pops up in this – Lenny Kravitz – as a caring nurse that all the school girls fawn over.

And let’s not forget about Paula Patton as the caring teacher. Simply the prettiest woman to grace a movie screen in years (On a side note: why the heck did she marry Robin Thicke?!)

It’s such a pleasant surprise to see a movie that deals with a classroom in what seemed like a real way. There have been so many films where an Edward James Almos comes in and turns the gang members around. Or Michelle Pfeiffer, Lou Gosset, Jr. [insert actor here] comes in and used tough talk and karate to shape up the kids.

This group seemed very realistic. They could be mean some days, and thoughtful and caring the next.

At times, directly Lee Daniels was a bit gimmicky for my tastes. The first fantasy sequence Gabbie did were cute. I’m not sure by the third or fourth, I cared for that technique.

This movie was a modern day Color Purple that moved from the south to Harlem. And I thought it was better than that critically praised picture.

Steve Spielberg, who did that film, also did Schindler’s List. He did a great job of throwing in some really joyous moments in such a horrible situation. Perhaps Precious could’ve used a few more of those, to help lighten such a dark picture.

But hey – Oprah and Tyler Perry produced this, not Spielberg.

I remember Siskel & Ebert arguing about telemarketers after the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. I wondered if people left this film arguing about the importance of welfare.

Precious is a tough picture to take, but I think it’s a movie experience worth having.

It’s also one of the few movies I can guarantee, nobody will say they liked the book better.