I realize that it might have been the wiser move to review "Twilight: New Moon" this weekend since that's what the majority of people will be seeing. But I figured I'd start Oscar season early (that and the fact that I absolutely HATE "Twilight") and review a movie that won't make nearly as much as the aforementioned film but will be remembered once awards are handed out.
It seems every year around Oscar time a little movie comes out that is so brutal while at the same time touching and inevitably earns its fair share of nominations. Last year it was "The Wrestler" and this year that distinction belongs to "Precious: Based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire" (that's its full title by the way so for the sake of space I'll just call it "Precious."
When I saw that it was distributed with the help of Oprah and Tyler Perry (you know the guy who makes money off of those lame Madea movies), I was worried that it would turn out to be a Lifetime Channel movie of the week. My fears quickly disappeared when I realized that this was a truly painful yet inspiring film.
The subject matter may turn you off because unlike the savage nature of "Saw" this is real. The story takes place in 1987 and is about a girl named Claireece "Precious" Jones (played by newcomer Gabourney Sidibe) a sixteen year-old obese girl who already has one kid and is pregnant with another (both a result of her dad's transgressions). Precious has to take care of her mentally and physically abusive mom (Mo'Nique) and is illiterate. She is so numb to everything that she manages to get by, at least for awhile.
Ok, I know what you're thinking:
- That sounds like typical Oscar bait and;
- Who would want to see a movie about that?
True, it is not an easy thing to stomach, but then again either is Kristen Stewart, who looks like she hasn't slept in days, fall in love with a pretty vampire and a pretty werewolf... but I digress.
The story picks up when she is transferred to an alternative school following the threat of expulsion. Once she gets to this new school she begins a journey of self discovery and learns how to conquer the adversity in her life.
As a guy who is usually not a fan of these types of movies, I can assure you that the performances are so incredible that they overcome any trepidation you'd otherwise have about the story. Gabourney Sadibe is amazing as Precious, and as her debut film, it shows that she has some major acting chops. The film also has some performances by musicians; Lenny Kravitz as Precious' nurse and Mariah Carey as her social worker. While Kravitz is good, Carey is great. She eliminates all of her glamour and gives a performance that makes you wonder why her only other film "Glitter" was an absolute disaster.
The performance that is gaining the most attention and is most likely to win an Oscar is that of Mo'Nique, who in case you didn't know is a comedian who has her own show on BET and has otherwise been in sub par movies ("Beerfest" being the exception). In this film however, she is the villain and what a villain she is. Her comedic charm evaporates behind the character of Mary, a mother so venomous and so evil that it will actually send chills down your spine.
I highly recommend you see this film; it is a truly amazing movie.
If this is not your cup of tea and you don't feel like watching angst-ridden vampires then there is also "The Blindside," about the 26th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft Michael Oher's struggle to get to the NFL (featuring a great performance by Sandra Bullock). For the kids there is the animated film "Planet 51" starring The Rock himself, Dwayne Johnson.
Thank You for reading and stay tuned as I take a long walk down "The Road" with Viggo Mortensen (the guy from the "Lord of the Rings" movies).
Remember you can enjoy these and other wonderful films at your local Edwards cinema.