Lee Daniels Strips Down Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz in Precious and Delivers an Oscar Contender

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Forget the praise given to Tarantino for rebooting and reaffirming the careers of Bruce Willis, Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson and others. Give that crown to Lee Daniels, for stripping away the stardust personas of Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and Mo’Nique to reveal believable and very real working class New Yorkers in Precious, the tour-de-force film adaptation of the novel Push.

Daniels not only showcases the talent of a most unlikely ensemble cast, he succeeds in pushing these actors to the forefront of the Awards season competition. They’ve gone from being the biggest long shots for dramatic roles to possible award contenders, which makes the vision and talent of Lee Daniels’ direction one to watch during award season as well.

Newcomer Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe, a Harlem raised 26-year-old has already won a New Hollywood Award on Monday in Los Angeles and Daniels received the Breakthrough Director Award.

Paula Patton turns out a performance Blindie always knew she was capable of giving if ever the right script came along. She plays her role with such delicacy and care that we can’t help but see the forming stages of the motherly adoption we all hoped would eventually develop between her and Precious.

The tension in Lee Daniels’ film Precious is as gripping as any Hollywood Thriller. There are no chase scenes, no explosive helicopters and no espionage wordplay. There is however the poetic hard-edge slang of the late eighties, brought to you in hues of grey and dark-brown depictions of Harlem circa 1987, when crack cocaine was in full-effect.

Clairece “Precious” Jones chooses to live in her head. In her dreams she’s locking lips with her curly-haired light skinned boyfriend, and posing for the flashing bulbs of fashion photographers. Already, Daniels’ showing us that this girl dreams big, even if she dreams to drown out the onslaught of abuse from her mother, played to perfection by Mo’Nique, in the year’s most head-spinning drama boot-camp makeover.

Precious opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, and if Oprah’s endorsement of Halle Berry’s performance in “Monster’s Ball” was any indication, her late addition to the film as one of the executive producers alongside Tyler Perry, is definitely serving as a marketing goad, pushing Precious to the top of both the critics list and (fingers-crossed) the Oscar nom list. O! The power of Oprah.

Blindie will be watching and reporting on the trajectory of Precious.

Ga Ga: The Official Trailer for Precious (aka Push) Creates Oscar Buzz

The trailer for Precious which made waves at Sundance is creating Oscar buzz for Mo’Nique in her first dramatic role.

The film, which is an adaptation of Sapphire’s beloved novel Push, changed its title to avoid conflict with the Dakota Fanning sci-fi flick. The drama is about a teen girl (played by Gabourey Sidibe) wrestling with pregnancy, poverty, and an abusive mother (Mo’Nique).

We can’t wait for the flick (which also stars Mariah Carey and Paula Patton) to hit theaters!

PHOTO Special: Alicia Keys, Chanel Iman & Paula Patton Are American Icons (Michelle Obama! Billie Holiday!) for Glamour

In an effort to celebrate American icons of the last seven decades, Glamour magazine has recruited “some very-2009 young talents” to reenact their greatest achievements.

From Alicia Keys channeling Michelle Obama (yes! Tyra Banks did it first) to Paula Patton paying homage to blues legend Billie Holiday, these American women represent the we can do anything.

“She has worked hard for everything she’s accomplished, and done so with grace and humility,” Keys says of our new first lady. “So many women and girls can identify with her story.”


“She showed women…you can be sweaty, be gorgeous and do a great job.” –Model and MTV House of Style co-host Chanel Iman on tennis great Althea Gibson.


“You can imagine that women at home hearing her songs on the radio felt her vocalizing their emotions and their struggles.” —Push star Paula Patton on Billie Holiday

Lee Daniels’ Push Starring Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey And Mo’Nique Wins Three Sundance Awards

The heart-wrenching drama Push about a 16-year-old overweight and illiterate pregnant girl based on the bestselling novel by Sapphire won top honors at this year’s Sundance film festival -snagging the grand jury award, audience award, and a special jury prize for comedianne Mo’Nique who plays an abusive mother.

Produced and directed by Lee Daniels, Push stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the lead role and a handful of well-known music and film stars in unexpected roles, including Mariah Carey as a social worker, Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse, and Paula Patton as a teacher.

Lee Daniels was overwhelmed with the film’s performance at the festival and gushed, “We don’t have no money. We got $2 to make some s— happen. We’re doing this story about this fat black girl who doesn’t have a voice. They’re all in it for the craft.”

The film has yet to be picked up for distribution but Daniels is hopeful. “I think [this win] means there’s hope for people of color. Just because Obama’s president doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to translate down to our world of cinema. And I think what it does is reiterate and strengthen this power of, Get yourself a freakin’ video camera. And you go out and tell your truth. That’s what I started doing as a kid, and I think inevitably, it led to this. It’s just so much hope.”

PHOTO CREDIT: AP

Ga Ga: Lenny Kravitz As A Male Nurse In Lee Daniels’ Sundance film Push

The Sundance film festival kicked off on Thursday in Park City, Utah and while there are more than a few impressive black films in the lineup we are most excited about sexy rocker Lenny Kravitz‘ big screen debut in Lee Daniel’s film Push.

Not to be confused with the Dakota Fanning thriller Push, which hits theaters in February, Daniels’ Push is an adaptation of the bestselling novel by Ramona Lofton, aka Sapphire -the heart-wrenching drama of an abused, overweight and illiterate teenage mother trying to turn her life around in the Bronx section of New York.

Not only does Push provide Daniels’ with much needed directorial redemption from the disappointing 2005 film Shadowboxer, but Lenny Kravitz finally follows in his mother Roxie Rocker’s footsteps and show off his acting talents.

Kravitz, the ex-husband of Lisa Bonet and father to Blindie’s favorite budding actress Zoe Kravitz plays a male nurse who shows kindness to the teenage mother Clareece ‘Precious’ Jones played by newcomer Gabourey ‘Gabbie’ Sidibe.

Also starring in the film is Mariah Carey as a Harlem social worker and Swing Vote‘s Paula Patton as a school teacher.

Blindie hopes the film gets picked up at Sundance so we can see nurse Lenny on the big screen!

Robin Thicke on Wife Paula Patton: ‘She Gets One Script Out of Every 10 That a White Girl Would Get’

R&B singer Robin Thicke doesn’t bite his tongue on race in music and movies in an interview with the Miami Herald.

In regards to his wife, actress Paula Patton’s career, Thicke says, “She being African-American gets one script out of every 10 that a white girl would get because…they’re just not looking for a black actress in this role.”

While he says it’s not that way for every role, he does explain that filmmakers say, “‘We want a white girl. We’re sure of that.’ So she has to deal with that a lot. And when you live with somebody you see that world in a different way than I would have ever seen.”

But being a white boy with soul in the R&B world, Thicke, who released his new album Something Else last week, knows how it feels to stick “out like a sore thumb.”

“I do find that doors are closed because the color of my skin, but doors are also open because of the color of my skin,” he explains. “And doors are closed on a lot of other people, and I’m definitely not the victim in this society, that’s for sure.”

As for the future of race in America, the gorgeous singer says, “I think with Barack Obama running for president we’re learning very quickly that race is still at the forefront of people’s minds. Nowadays, just because they changed the laws doesn’t mean they changed the whispers. Nowadays, racism is in the whispering and it’s in the connotations.”

Blindie Exclusive: Sorority Forever‘s Candice Patton Talks Family, Music & Career

Blindie recently chatted with newcomer Candice Patton of The WB online’s Sorority Forever and we couldn’t help but to ask if there was any celeb relations between her and actress Paula Patton of Swing Vote and Mirrors.

“That’s so funny, someone asked me that yesterday,” the Texas native told Blindie. “I don’t think I am. I’m gonna say no, but you never know.”

While she may not be related to the other Patton, she does make another famous connection: “I get that a lot with Usher, because I guess his family’s last name is Patton. I don’t know. He may be like a distant cousin.”

As for her own family, she says, “I have super supportive parents who kind of said, ‘This is what you love, we’ll support you and pay for you to go to school and study it.’ It’s a dream come true to…have them move me out here to Los Angeles of all places and get my feet on the ground and have some kind of success.”

Although her resume reads like a who’s who of daytime soaps, from The Young and the Restless to Days of our Lives, Patton confesses to finding artistic fulfillment in quirky indie films. “I really, really enjoy independent films,” she says. “Things that are a little quirkier, that are a little more offbeat than the big blockbuster films.”

Patton’s indie taste even extends to music as she admits to being a fan of folk soul and raves about singer Ray Lamontagne (who performs a mean acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”).

As for Sorority Forever, Patton, who missed out on the Greek experience while studying theater at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, says, “Spending everyday with these girls they become like your sister…we call each other sis and we’re like ‘hey sissy’, like we’re in a Greek sorority.”