Precious

Bog
Assistant
Posts: 825
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:39 am
Location: United States

Postby Bog » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:51 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:and I found Sidibe better than I expected - though to be honest I expected something really bad a la Jennifer Hudson.

Is it because they're both tall?

well done SY...had me laughing

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:37 pm

And because I can't think of a more undeserved nomination in recent memory.

User avatar
Sonic Youth
Laureate
Posts: 7436
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:35 pm
Location: USA

Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:23 pm

ITALIANO wrote:and I found Sidibe better than I expected - though to be honest I expected something really bad a la Jennifer Hudson.

Is it because they're both tall?
"What the hell?"
Win Butler

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3979
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:38 am

I saw it. Compared to The Blind Side a masterpiece of sublety and truth. Otherwise a watchable, not memorable, generally well-acted movie, which didn't deserve the praise it got - nor the hate. The showy direction is, of course, very irritating and, as others have pointed out, not as original as it thinks it is. Yet if I had seen it before the nominations, I'd have been sure of a Best Director nod (and Best Editing, unfortunately) - for all the wrong reasons. Still, Lee Daniels works well with the actors, and I found Sidibe better than I expected - though to be honest I expected something really bad a la Jennifer Hudson. Actually, if I have to find a comparable precedent, she is closer to a forgotten Best Supporting Actress nominee of the 60s, Jocelyn La Garde, who wasn't a professional actress but made a much-praised acting debut in a movie called Hawaii. Like La Garde, Sidibe is an impressive example of lucky casting, and has some unexpectedly good, even affecting moments. I'm not saying that I'd give her an Oscar or even a nomination - though, in a year when Bullock could even win, she has a right to be there.
Mo'nique is also impressive of course; I personally think that among the nominees at least Vera Farmiga is better and should win - but Mo'nique's role and over-the-top yet believable performance are exactly the kind the Academy can't easily resist to.




Edited By ITALIANO on 1267984009

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15723
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:16 pm

I finally dragged my ass to see this thing.

It was not the two hour wallow in misery I expected. There are a few light moments and Gabourey Sidibe gives a nicely nuanced performance as the abused teen who spends as much time in her head as she does the real world.

I also liked Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and whoever played the Jamaican girl. As for Mo'Nique - I still don't get it. Her performance is not the greatest thing since sliced bread. Neither, however, is it as bad as Jeff Wells and other detractors have made it seem. The character as written is two dimensional so there really weren't any shadings she could give it to make it more palatable.

It's a show business cliche that great comedians long to play Hamlet. I'm not familiar with Mo'Nique's comedy so I have no way of knowing how "great" she is at stand-up, but that seemed to me what she was dong with those long monologues, delivering them the way she would comedy routines, except with a tragic mask on.

At the end of that last one, I was hoping for Mariah Carey to say "you're not getting a dime from me, lady" instead of just getting up and walking away.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6498
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Dec 05, 2009 3:08 pm

Well, I'm the "lucky" one. I went into this film with expectations so downgraded -- from my own viewing of the trailer, and the vitriol here -- that I was able to view it as halfway decent.

Don't start throwing things. It's still a movie centered on a topic of little interest to me. I read the hyperbolic quotes in the ads, and have the familiar "what did you guys ingest before watching?" reaction. And I have plenty of problems with Daniels' "Bravura Director at Work Here" style -- most especially the fantasy sequences (a device last fresh around Walter Mitty time) and the seemingly random cut-aways (epitomized, as all have pointed out, by that instantly parody-able fried egg).

But I have to give some credit. The character scenes -- at school, with Mo Nique, even (surprisingly) with Mariah Carey -- for me mostly rang fairly true, and didn't feel like cliches (except for Patton's "We all love you, Previous" scene). I also went with one showy directorial choice: the crowding of the soundtrack with Precious' inner thoughts. The way they were used to mask dialogue -- so that even we couldn't hear all we wanted to hear -- successfully suggested that Precious suffered from a form of overkill ADD. Which is why I somewhat disagree with Sabin on the reading-the-postcard scene. While it's maddening that Precious can seem incapable of doing the simplest things, and she seems fatally passive, this scene shows us that her problem is she's paralyzed by the multitude of (primarily negative) voices shouting in her head. Her problem in that scene is she can't do the seemingly direct thing, and Daniels' staging of the sequence replicates that feeling for us. (I don't expect to persuade Sabin on this, but it's how I saw it)

This jibber-jabber voice-over makes Sidibe the clear center of the film, even though I agree with what I believe BJ implied: that her performance is more a matter of casting and placement than it is major achievement on her part. (In that sense, it reminds me of Dexter Gordon's nominated work in Round Midnight) It's not clear how important she is to the film overall, though she's certainly effective with what she does.

Mo Nique is another matter. About an hour into the film, I had the snarky thought that it'd be hard to find an Oscar clip for her that wasn't all bleeped out. She'd already done plenty to merit the supporting nomination, and, since I thought she was more or less gone from the story, I wasn't expecting any kind of Oscar scene. But, boy, she had a scene and a half. Let's be frank: there are long-time professional actors who might not have brought as many colors as she did to that monologue. I'm not even sure I'd describe it as a sympathetic speech. The character tries to sell it as such, but I kept feeling throughout, Good god, what a narcissist; everything's about her, even this story which she's trying to present as positive about her life with her daughter. To me, the reason Precious gets up and leaves -- and why the movie ends then -- is it's the first moment she's able to see her mother's bile as completely her mother's problem; she's at last able to recognize that one voice in her head as to be utterly ignored (something she'd been uncertain about before).

I'm not saying this is especially profound. The problem with Oprah-backed movies in general (including the Crash so many are so quick to raise) is they propound insights most of us gleaned in our late teens/early 20s and try and sell them as fresh and deep. (That quote from Oprah about suddenly realizing there are people like Precious in this world was really telling; apparently "All the lonely people, where do they all come from?" never reached her ears before now) The movie is relentlessly middlebrow, and not remotely the sort I want to see dominate the Oscars. But, at least this time around, I can't join gleefully in the hate; there's too much about the movie I was okay with for me to take that stance.

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7394
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 4:05 pm

I agree with this. I, for one, wasn't watching Precious strolling on down the street with a gleam in her eye at the end of the film as some sort of triumph. Sure, she was finally getting away from that monster of a mother, but with two children in tow, a raging case of illiteracy, little money and now AIDS at quite possibly one of the most inopportune moments in history to have the disease, there was no light at the end of that tunnel. Precious is fucked.

Are you saying that you viewed the end of the film as something other than a note of triumph?

We're supposed to cheer. As the people in my theater did, we are supposed to cheer from Precious because she is free at last! Save for her two children, no money, and AIDS.

Still, I contend that the film is valiant failure.

I think the only thing that can mark it as a valiant failure is a small handful of moments in the classroom, and two actresses and source material that deserved better. I know where you're coming from but with so much stacked against it, I mark it as a frustrating failure which can be worse.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5830
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Sabin wrote:This reviewer brings up a very good point about the tonal disaster that is the entire movie. Sidenote: I think that where Lee Daniels decides to end the film, Lars von Trier would opt to begin it. Say what you will about von Trier but the real movie begins where Daniels ends it.

I agree with this. I, for one, wasn't watching Precious strolling on down the street with a gleam in her eye at the end of the film as some sort of triumph. Sure, she was finally getting away from that monster of a mother, but with two children in tow, a raging case of illiteracy, little money and now AIDS at quite possibly one of the most inopportune moments in history to have the disease, there was no light at the end of that tunnel. Precious is fucked.

Still, I contend that the film is a valiant failure.




Edited By flipp525 on 1260046598
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7394
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:38 pm

No, because I don't think it's a very good joke.

This reviewer brings up a very good point about the tonal disaster that is the entire movie. Sidenote: I think that where Lee Daniels decides to end the film, Lars von Trier would opt to begin it. Say what you will about von Trier but the real movie begins where Daniels ends it.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5830
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:31 pm

You can never pass up a good AIDS joke can you, Sabin.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7394
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:19 pm

Precious 2: AZT Boogaloo.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5830
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:07 pm

Sabin wrote:I guess they can hardly wait for the sequel.

Precious 2: Back in the Habit?
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7394
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:59 pm

There should be a club: BLACK PEOPLE WHO FUCKING HATE PRECIOUS. Some SPOILERS.

A film as lost as the girl it glorifies

By Courtland Milloy
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Now that I have seen the movie "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," I'm all the more bewildered by its enthusiastic reception, especially in the white media. The fictional story revolves around a black teenager, Claireece "Precious" Jones, who is raped by her father, gets pregnant by him -- twice -- and endures the depravity of her psychopathic mother.

The Huffington Post raved: "This is a film that doesn't shy away from the depths to which human beings can sink. . . ." You'd think the movie was a documentary.

The independent film, directed by Lee Daniels and adapted from a 1996 novel by the poet Sapphire, raked in an impressive $6 million during its weekend debut. Little wonder, though, given all the media buzz.

The New York Times Magazine featured the movie as a cover story last month and declared: "Precious is a stand-in for anyone -- black, white, male, female -- who has ever been devalued or underestimated."

Let's see: I lose my job, so I take in a movie about a serially abused black girl and I go, "Oh, swell, she's standing in for me."

Maybe there is something to the notion that when human pathology is given a black face, white people don't have to feel so bad about their own. At least somebody's happy.

Sexual abuse is certainly an equal-opportunity crime, with black and white women similarly affected. But only exaggerated black depravity seems to resonate so forcefully in the imagination.

White suburban boys are so fascinated by it that they fueled an explosion of gangsta rap -- misogynistic lyrics against a backdrop of booty-shaking black women.

Of course, "Precious" would not have received nearly as much media buzz if Oprah Winfrey and Tyler "Madea" Perry had not signed on as executive producers. Oddly, neither has made a movie about rising above a challenging background and becoming a wealthy and influential entertainer.

Asked by Entertainment Weekly magazine why she got involved with the project, Oprah said: "I realized that, Jesus, I have seen that girl a million times. I see that girl every morning on the way to work, I see her standing on the corner, I see her waiting for the bus as I'm passing in my limo, I see her coming out of the drugstore, and she's been invisible to me."

Instead of making a movie about how she beat the odds, Oprah has taken to divining ugly life stories from black girls she passes in her limo. Maybe the Obama girls should stay off the sidewalk for a while.

In "Precious," Oprah and Perry have helped serve up a film of prurient interest that has about as much redeeming social value as a porn flick. In it, we glimpse a sweaty, faceless brute of a black man raping the girl while her mother watches from a doorway. Two children are conceived in incest.

"The Jones family home is an amber-lit hell, and we're not initially sure whether Precious is a prisoner or a participant in it," says Time magazine. "The movie allows moments of judging Precious . . . then begins to roll out a series of nightmares that last the whole day long: rape, incest and a mother so lacking in human decency that she not only aided in a father's lust for a child but also considered the child as a witting rival."

Rolling Stone gave "Precious" 3.5 stars out of four. Three X's would be more like it.

I watched the movie at a theater in Alexandria where showtimes are nearly around the clock, from 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. The audience was mostly black women and teenagers. When the lights came up, all of the moviegoers appeared sullen and depressed.

After escaping the abuse of her home life, Precious ends up in a halfway house. She is still functionally illiterate and has two babies to care for, one with Down syndrome.

Strangest of all, many reviewers felt the movie ended on a high note. Time, for instance, wrote that Precious "makes an utterly believable and electrifying rise from an urban abyss of ignorance and neglect."

Excuse me, the movie ends with the girl walking the streets, babies in her arms, having just learned that her father has died of AIDS -- but not before infecting her.

The story is set in 1987, before AIDS treatment became widely available. Precious is as good as dead.

At the Cannes Film Festival, members of a mostly white audience gave "Precious" a 15-minute standing ovation.

I guess they can hardly wait for the sequel.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

Sabin
Laureate
Posts: 7394
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 12:52 am
Contact:

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:48 pm

Well, she needs to work her fat ass out.

Leave me alone. I'm still right.



FROM MIKE D'ANGELO
Precious ('09 Daniels): 18. Reluctantly, I will admit that Mo'Nique home-runs her big monologue. But it's still part of a garish freak show.

@jerocrowe TRASH HUMPERS got a 2. CRASH an 11. I think SOUTHLAND TALES was 14 or 15.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

User avatar
flipp525
Laureate
Posts: 5830
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2003 7:44 am

Postby flipp525 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:19 pm

The fascination with the "$10,000 Pyramid" was firmly set in place (Florence Henderson and Patty Duke as guest stars were presumably stand-ins for the kind of TV mother Precious lacked).

The Two Women sequence was hilarious, intentional or not.

Eric, was there an opportunity for Patrice Rushen's "To Each His Own" at any point?
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell


Return to “2009”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest