110 minutes| U.S.A.| 2009|?Colour| Dolby Digital Stereo| 35mm

This film was released 29th January 2010, and is no longer screening.

Precious is an overweight, illiterate Harlem teenager who’s already had a son with Down syndrome and is pregnant with her second child. Home life, meanwhile, brings daily abuse from her volatile mother, while her since-departed father got her pregnant on both occasions.

Based on the novel Push by former literacy-teacher Sapphire, here’s a story dealing with the farthest reaches of urban degradation, yet it’s ultimately an uplifting parable about the untapped possibilities within the marginalised of society.
It’s a film which doesn’t shy away from the reality of the streets, but director Lee Daniels’ eclectic stylings are born from an irrepressible determination to avoid the usual worthily depressing naturalism. Thanks to Gabourey Sidibe’s uncannily subtle central performance, we understand just what it’s like to be told you’re worthless, and we’re rooting for her all the way as she begins to turn her life around, aided by Mariah Carey as a no-nonsense care worker. This is a life-affirming knockout of a movie. Notes by Trevor Johnston

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