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.