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Movie review: Precious

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Gabourey Sidibe Gabourey Sidibe
Mariah Carey Mariah Carey

by Terry Hunter

The much hyped new movie,"Precious," is presented by Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry and has won so many prizes that I felt compelled to check it out.
    
"Precious" is a strong drama about a 16 year old,  overweight African-American girl who can't read or write and is pregnant with a second child by her own father.
       
On top of that, she's constantly abused by her mother.
       
Some people will find "Precious" too painful to watch, because the actors give such gutsy, realistic performances. But the film does end on a hopeful note.
 
 It's also the stunning film debut of Gabourey Sidibe as Precious, the sullen, abused teenage girl who, with the help of a teacher and a social worker, slowly extricates herself from the miserable household she was born into.
   
The comedian known as Mo'Nique plays the mother of Precious, a monster of a parent whose humanity is just barely visible. Her raw, unrestrained performance will surely win her a best supporting actress nomination.
And you may barely recognize Mariah Carey as a social worker. Who knew the diva was capable of disappearing into an ordinary character like this?

"Precious" is a shockingly realistic film. So many scenes are uncompromising in their honest depiction of suffering. It's not the uplifting experience promised by the publicity campaign.

 It's the gritty performances more than the overall story, that make "Precious" worth seeing.