Sunday, December 20, 2009


Yesterday afternoon I went to a screening of the movie "Precious" and after the showing, there was a question and answer session with the writer of the screenplay.

I haven't been able to get the movie out of my mind.  I just watched an interview with the young woman who played Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, who had never acted before.  She was so astonishing and heartbreaking and seeing her on a talk show, she couldn't have been more different than the character.  The story is about a 16 year-old, illiterate, obese girl who has been abused by both her parents in such a horrific way that it breaks your heart.  She's pregnant with her second child from her father, and her mother is monstrous.  The film was adapted from a novel called "Push" by a woman named Sapphire, who worked with young girls and wrote using stories she heard about their lives.  

The writer of the film, Geoffrey Fletcher, did a wonderful job of adapting the novel.  He incorporated a number of dream sequences and one of the things that works well about the film is the rhythm, it could feel unrelentingly horrible, but by interspersing these fantasy sequences, it lets us breathe.  The cast is fearless and surprising.  I won't tell you who is in it, part of the pleasure of the film is seeing people you wouldn't expect to be in it.

It's so powerful, moving and devastatingly honest.  It brings up so many prejudices and shows us the kind of abuse that goes on every day, all over the world.  

I don't know what else to say but see it.  It isn't easy to watch, but it's necessary.  And it's unforgettable. 


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