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"PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE"
(2009) (Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Mo'Nique) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Extreme Moderate None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None Heavy Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Extreme Extreme Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A 16-year-old girl tries to get an education while dealing with emotional and physical abuse at home, specifically from her angry mother, but also by being pregnant for the second time by her father.
PLOT:
It's 1987 and Claireece "Precious" Jones (GABOUREY "GABBY" SIDIBE) is an overweight, 16-year-old African-American girl who often escapes into a fantasy world where she envisions herself as a celebrity or sometimes as a petite blond white girl. She does so to deal with emotional and physical abuse at home.

Most of that comes from her angry mother, Mary (MO'NIQUE), who sees no use in school and thinks Precious should also go welfare rather than get an education. To make matters worse, Precious is kicked out of school after ending up pregnant by her father, Mary's longtime boyfriend, a man who also fathered her first child (who has Down's Syndrome and lives with Mary's grandmother).

Fortunately for Precious, her principal encourages her to attend an alternate school, Each One/Teach One, where she can prepare to get her GED. Under the tutelage of the caring Ms. Rain (PAULA PAXTON), and visiting social worker Ms. Weiss (MARIAH CAREY), Precious starts to come out of her shell in the small class that also includes the likes of Jo Ann (XOSHA ROQUEMORE), Rhonda (CHYNA LAYNE), Consuelo (ANGELIC ZAMBRANA) and others.

When she delivers her second child -- and meets kind male nurse John (LENNY KRAVITZ) in the process -- Precious' progress in learning how to read and getting an education is put in jeopardy, particularly when her relationship with Mary becomes even more strained than before.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless the subject matter interests them in some way or they're fans of someone in the cast, it doesn't seem too likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • GABOUREY "GABBY" SIDIBE plays an overweight, 16-year-old girl who lives in the Harlem projects with her mentally and physically abusive mother. She's pregnant for the second time by her father (her mother's boyfriend) with her only escape being momentary fantasies of a better life. She uses strong profanity, and has low-self esteem, but still has the will to persevere, especially when others attempt to help her.
  • MO'NIQUE plays her mother who is emotionally and physically abusive toward her, thinks welfare is a privilege, uses strong profanity, allows her boyfriend to rape and impregnate Precious, and smokes.
  • PAULA PAXTON plays Precious' caring teacher who works at a unique school for helping troubled but promising students. She briefly has some wine and is noted as being a lesbian.
  • MARIAH CAREY plays a social worker who's looking out for Precious' best interest and wants to get to the bottom of what's wrong with the teen's home life.
  • LENNY KRAVITZ plays a compassionate male nurse who makes Precious feel better about herself.
  • ANGELIC ZAMBRANA plays one of Precious' classmates who has something of a bad attitude toward her and others, and uses some profanity.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated drama. Profanity consists of at least 75 "f" words, while other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered. Sexually related dialogue (some of it explicit) is present, as is a partial flashback view to a teen's father raping her (movement but no nudity), while a woman is partially seen masturbating.

    In addition to the rape, a mother repeatedly tries attacking her teenage daughter, eventually resulting in a physical fight between them, while there's other brief striking of and struggling with others. Some of that material has bloody results and could be unsettling and/or suspenseful to some viewers.

    There's a little bit of wine content as well as a drug-related comment, and various characters smoke. There are plenty of bad attitudes to go around, many of them tied to lots of tense family material (involving mental and physical abuse of a teen). Some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from camera flashes in an imagined scene.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are varying amounts of handheld camera movement in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • As someone keeps ringing their buzzer, Precious states that she hates crack-heads (thinking that's who's doing it).
  • A movie on TV shows a scene featuring wine in two glasses on a table, and Precious then imagines herself in that scene (but no consumption takes place).
  • Ms. Rain has wine, as does her lesbian lover.
  • Explaining metaphors to Precious, Ms. Rain uses the ones about smoking like a chimney and drinking like a fish.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Precious vomits into a trash can.
  • Precious makes up a story about vampires living below her and leaving dirty tampons in the trash.
  • Mary has a little blood on her head after fighting Precious, while there's blood on the blanket around Precious' newborn (from Precious, not the baby).
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Mary treats her 16-year-old daughter Precious horribly throughout the film. She treats her like her slave by ordering her around, physically attacks her (or tries to) and constantly belittles her intelligence and abilities, often in profanity-laden outbursts. She wants nothing to do with her young granddaughter who has Down's Syndrome except when she comes in handy when the social worker comes checking, and she does nothing to have stopped her boyfriend from raping Precious, twice impregnating her. She also thinks living on welfare and not trying to get a job is fine, and appears to be racist toward white people.
  • When a white teacher tells some male students in his class to behave appropriately (and in doing so calls them "boys," although this does not seem racially motivated), a black student replies, "I'm not your f*cking boy!" That prompts Precious to yell "Shut the f*ck up!" at that boy, thus putting him in his place. But when Precious is called away to the principal's office, that boy makes fun of her as she leaves.
  • Precious refers to her principal as a "bitch" (not to her face) as does Mary when the woman shows up at their building (with Precious warning the principal to leave before "I kick your ass").
  • In another bout of belittling her daughter, Mary tells Precious, "I should have f*cked you up," calls her a "fat bitch" and says that she should have aborted her while pregnant with her.
  • A teen on the street sexually comes on to Precious as she passes by, commenting on her "sweet ass" and asking when she's going to let him "hit that" (have sex). When she doesn't play along, he pushes her down hard to the street.
  • A black person uses the term "n*gger."
  • Precious orders a bucket of chicken from a fast food restaurant, but then runs out without paying.
  • Consuela makes fun of Rhonda's foreign-sounding last name.
  • When Ms. Rain has the students write one letter at a time on the board, Precious writes "f," prompting another girl to joke meanly, "F for fat." In response, Precious smacks that girl hard, followed by some struggling and whacking between the two before they're separated.
  • Mary tells Precious that schooling won't do Precious any good ("You can't learn sh*t"), and that she should just apply for and live on welfare.
  • Mary is angry about the food Precious has prepared for her, and thus makes her eat that food (despite Precious not being hungry) before making her food again.
  • Precious states that her daughter's name is "Mongo" as in short for Mongoloid (she has Down's Syndrome).
  • Mary lies to a visiting social worker about trying to find work, as well as about Precious' daughter and checkup visits to the doctor. When the social worker leaves, Mary is angry and wants nothing to do with her granddaughter.
  • One student purposefully leaves her chewing gum on a museum or art gallery exhibit.
  • Precious returns home with her newborn, and her mom wants to hold the baby. Precious complies, but moments later Mary throws the baby to the floor and then throws a glass at Precious. That results in a fight between the two, with struggling and blows, including Precious slamming her mom against a wall. She then leaves with her baby, but ends up tripping down the stairwell (the baby is okay). Her mom then takes the TV and drops it down the center of the stairwell where it falls many floors and nearly hits Precious and the baby, but Precious moves out of the way just in time.
  • Some of Precious' classmates laugh about there being blood (Precious') on the blanket around her baby.
  • Some of Precious' classmates mock each other, calling the others "hos" and "slut," etc.
  • About Ms. Rain and her lover, Precious says her mom would use the term "homos" (and uses that term several times).
  • Precious steals her own file while Ms. Weiss is briefly away from her desk.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • We see a flashback to Precious' father raping her on a bed (with movement, but no nudity), and during this her mind goes elsewhere, imagining her life if she were a celebrity.
  • We see and hear Precious screaming while in labor, but this is played fairly lightly.
  • Precious returns home with her newborn, and her mom wants to hold the baby. Precious complies, but moments later Mary throws the baby to the floor and then throws a glass at Precious. That results in a fight between the two, with struggling and blows, including Precious slamming her mom against a wall. She then leaves with her baby, but ends up tripping down the stairwell (the baby is okay). Her mom then takes the TV and drops it down the center of the stairwell where it falls many floors and nearly hits Precious and the baby, but Precious moves out of the way just in time.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "I'm not your f*cking boy," "Shut the f*ck up," "Why are they f*cking with us?" "M*therf*ckers," "The f*ck she thinks she is," "You should have kept your f*cking mouth shut," "F*ck you and f*ck him," "I should have f*cked you up," "Get the f*ck out of here," "F*cking-ass," "F*ck that day," "F*cking bastard," "Whatever the f*ck that's supposed to mean," "You're a f*cking whore," "F*cking stupid," "F*cked up," "I'm f*cking hungry," "F*ck that up," "You f*cking bitch," "You ain't sh*t," "This is/that's bullsh*t," "You can't learn sh*t," "As nasty as sh*t," "Piece of sh*t," "Slut," "Big/Fat/Sweet/Cold/Nasty/Smart ass," "(Uppity/You're a damn/You fat) Bitch," "Before I kick your ass," "N*gger," "Oh hell no," "F for fat," "Get your big ass in here," what sounded like "Shut your bumba ras up," "They talk like TV characters I don't watch," "Straight-up lesbians," "Homos," "Shut up" and "You're G*ddamn right."
  • We see miscellaneous graffiti.
  • Precious orders a bucket of chicken from a fast food restaurant, but then runs out without paying.
  • Precious' father is seen with a tattoo.
  • One student purposefully leaves her chewing gum on a museum or art gallery exhibit.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Several songs use the "f" word, along with "n*gger."
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 75 "f" words (13 used with "mother" and 4 used sexually, with one spelled out letter by letter, while slang terms such as "hit that" and "doing it" are also used), 30 "s" words, 1 slang term using male genitals ("d*ck"), 1 for breasts ("t*tty"), 26 asses, 4 damns, 1 hell, 13 uses of "G-damn," 2 of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "My God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We hear that Precious is pregnant for the second by her father (her mother's boyfriend). When her principal asks what happened, Precious matter-of-factly states "I had sex" (but doesn't let on that her father raped her).
  • We see a flashback to Precious' father raping her on a bed (with movement, but no nudity), and during this her mind goes elsewhere, imagining her life if she were a celebrity.
  • Mary uses the "f" word sexually in reference to her boyfriend and Precious having sex.
  • A teen on the street sexually comes on to Precious as she passes by, commenting on her "sweet ass" and asking when she's going to let him "hit that" (have sex). When she doesn't play along, he pushes her down hard to the street.
  • Not looking at the poster of a shirtless man on the wall above her bed, Mary masturbates under the covers (we see hand movement and hear some slight related sounds). As we then see Precious elsewhere in the house, Mary calls out to her, "Come take care of mommy, Precious" and Precious begrudgingly heads that way (but the scene ends there).
  • After John gives Precious a kiss on her forehead, her classmates playfully sing, "Precious and John, sitting in a tree" (and finish that by spelling out the sexual use of the "f" word rather than the normal "K-I-S-S-I-N-G." Later, one of the girls jokes that a hospital glove looks like a condom.
  • We see most of Precious' bare breast as she breast-feeds her newborn, but we don't see the nipple.
  • Mary shows cleavage on several occasions.
  • Some of Precious' classmates mock each other, calling the others "hos" and "slut," etc.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Mary visits Precious, informing her not only that Precious' father is dead, but also that he had AIDS. Precious asks her mom if she has that, but Mary says no as "we never did it up the ass." Precious later visits the doctor to be checked, and later is upset as she informs Ms. Rain and her classmates that she's HIV positive. Precious then tells Ms. Rain that her father said he was going to marry her, but then adds how could he since he was illegally "f*cking" her.
  • Mary meets with Precious and Ms. Weiss, and eventually breaks down, explaining about her boyfriend (Precious' father) sexually abusing the girl. She comments that it started when Precious was three-years-old and Mary was giving her boyfriend "the t*tty" and didn't want Precious breastfeeding since her boyfriend was also sucking on her breasts. She then states that when she and Carl would start "doing it," he would reach over and feel the girl along their side. She then adds that she hated Precious because the boyfriend was "f*cking" her.
  • SMOKING
  • Mary smokes at least 8 times, Ms. Rain's lover smokes once, and a number of minor and miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • When Precious returns home, Mary asks Precious if she got her cigarettes, but Precious says they didn't have them.
  • Explaining metaphors to Precious, Ms. Rain uses the ones about smoking like a chimney and drinking like a fish.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mary treats her 16-year-old daughter Precious horribly throughout the film. She treats her like her slave by ordering her around, physically attacks her (or tries to) and constantly belittles her intelligence and abilities, often in profanity-laden outbursts. She wants nothing to do with her young granddaughter who has Down's Syndrome except when she comes in handy when the social worker comes checking, and she does nothing to have stopped her boyfriend from raping Precious, twice impregnating her.
  • Mary throws a book or something similar that hits Precious.
  • We see a flashback to Precious' father raping her on a bed (with movement, but no nudity), and during this her mind goes elsewhere, imagining her life if she were a celebrity.
  • Mary swings a frying pan at Precious who ducks just in time as the metal pan smacks the wall behind her.
  • Mary kicks something in the living room in anger. Moments later, she throws something up the stairs at Precious, and then storms upstairs while still mad, and we hear sounds of violence, but don't see anything.
  • In another bout of belittling her daughter, Mary tells Precious, "I should have f*cked you up," calls her a "fat bitch" and says that she should have aborted her while pregnant with her.
  • Mary tells Precious that schooling won't do Precious any good ("You can't learn sh*t"), and that she should just apply for and live on welfare.
  • Mary is angry about the food Precious has prepared for her, and thus makes her eat that food (despite Precious not being hungry) before making her food again.
  • We hear that Precious' daughter lives with Precious' grandmother.
  • Precious tells Ms. Weiss that she delivered her first baby on the floor at home (having not seen a doctor) and with her mom kicking her.
  • Precious returns home with her newborn, and her mom wants to hold the baby. Precious complies, but moments later Mary throws the baby to the floor and then throws a glass at Precious. That results in a fight between the two, with struggling and blows, including Precious slamming her mom against a wall. She then leaves with her baby, but ends up tripping down the stairwell (the baby is okay). Her mom then takes the TV and drops it down the center of the stairwell where it falls many floors and nearly hits Precious and the baby, but Precious moves out of the way just in time.
  • SPOILER ALERT: Mary visits Precious, informing her not only that Precious' father is dead, but also that he had AIDS. Precious asks her mom if she has that, but Mary says no as "we never did it up the ass." Precious later visits the doctor to be checked, and later is upset as she informs Ms. Rain and her classmates that she's HIV positive. Precious then tells Ms. Rain that her father said he was going to marry her, but then adds how could he since he was illegally "f*cking" her.
  • Mary meets with Precious and Ms. Weiss, and eventually breaks down, explaining about her boyfriend (Precious' father) sexually abusing the girl. She comments that it started when Precious was three-years-old and Mary was giving her boyfriend "the t*tty" and didn't want Precious breastfeeding since her boyfriend was also sucking on her breasts. She then states that when she and Carl would start "doing it," he would reach over and feel the girl along their side. She then adds that she hated Precious because the boyfriend was "f*cking" her.
  • Precious then informs Mary that she won't ever see her again and leaves.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The opening quote that everything is a gift of the universe.
  • Mental and physical abuse at home.
  • We hear that Precious is pregnant for the second by her father (her mother's boyfriend) having raped her.
  • Precious imagining herself (in the mirror) as a petite blonde white teen.
  • Precious stating that sometimes she wishes she was dead.
  • Taking a standardized test (which it turns out she can't read due to being illiterate), Precious comments on such tests making her and her mom look like ugly black stains.
  • Precious stating that she isn't good at anything (when asked by Ms. Rain to name one such thing).
  • We learn that Precious is illiterate.
  • Mary tells Precious that schooling won't do Precious any good ("You can't learn sh*t"), and that she should just apply for and live on welfare.
  • Precious states that her daughter's name is "Mongo" as in short for Mongoloid (she has Down's Syndrome).
  • Precious tells Ms. Weiss that she delivered her first baby on the floor at home (having not seen a doctor) and with her mom kicking her.
  • We learn that Ms. Rain has a lesbian lover, with Precious commenting (in voice-over narration) about being surprised that they're "straight-up lesbians."
  • AIDS.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Mary throws a book or something similar that hits Precious.
  • We see a flashback to Precious' father raping her on a bed (with movement, but no nudity), and during this her mind goes elsewhere, imagining her life if she were a celebrity.
  • Mary swings a frying pan at Precious who ducks just in time as the metal pan smacks the wall behind her.
  • Mary kicks something in the living room in anger. Moments later, she throws something up the stairs at Precious, and then storms upstairs while still mad, and we hear sounds of violence, but don't see anything.
  • A teen on the street sexually comes on to Precious as she passes by, commenting on her "sweet ass" and asking when she's going to let him "hit that" (have sex). When she doesn't play along, he pushes her down hard to the street.
  • When Ms. Rain has the students write one letter at a time on the board, Precious writes "f," prompting another girl to joke meanly, "F for fat." In response, Precious smacks that girl hard, followed by some struggling and whacking between the two before they're separated.
  • Precious returns home with her newborn, and her mom wants to hold the baby. Precious complies, but moments later Mary throws the baby to the floor and then throws a glass at Precious. That results in a fight between the two, with struggling and blows, including Precious slamming her mom against a wall. She then leaves with her baby, but ends up tripping down the stairwell (the baby is okay). Her mom then takes the TV and drops it down the center of the stairwell where it falls many floors and nearly hits Precious and the baby, but Precious moves out of the way just in time.
  • Ms. Rain and a coworker arrive at the office to find the front glass door broken (from Precious previously having done that - not seen --- to get in as she needed a place to stay with her newborn after leaving home).



  • Reviewed October 19, 2009 / Posted November 13, 2009

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