Urban horror story turned intense-but-rewarding character study, with a dollop of redemption thrown in. First-time actor Gabourey Sidibe acts with her whole body and seemingly her entire being as Precious Jones, a Harlem teenager, circa 1987, who suffers all the slings and arrows two monumentally abusive parents can hurl at her. Through it all, Precious facial expressions pass from monolithically unknowable to awakening to determined a remarkable transformation. Director Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer), working from Geoffrey Fletchers adaptation of author Sapphires young-adult novel, doesnt spare us the details of Precious humiliation, but he doesnt stint on the upside, either. Fine character support by MoNique as the monster mother, Xosha Roquemore as a classmate, and Mariah Carey, unrecognizable as a welfare officer (110 min.).
Director: Lee Daniels
Writer: Damien Paul and Sapphire
Producer: Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
Cast: Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and Gabourey Sidibe