Need someone to root for? Try an unlikely heroine called "Precious." I'll bet you'll be in her corner in no time.

This prestigious film is one you will hear about come Academy Award time... and rightly so. Both of the central characters are particularly well acted, although ALL of the performances are noteworthy. This tells me the director, Lee Daniels ("Shadowboxer") has done commendable work. This unpredictable but ultimately upbeat story is based on the best-selling novel "Push" by Sapphire, and adapted for the screen by Geoffrey Fletcher.

Co-producers Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are to be commended for putting their considerable clout behind this endeavor.

Among the noteworthy actors/actresses, we see:
  • Gabourey Sidibe (TV appearances) is "Precious," the overweight, illiterate, nameless face of poverty, ignorance, and child abuse.
  • Mo'Nique (LOTS of TV) is horrific as her mother, Mary. This role is a shoo-in for nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category.
  • Paula Patton ("Swing Vote") is luminous as Ms. Rain, the life- changing teacher at the alternative school.
  • Mariah Carey (legendary vocalist and LOTS of TV) is fearless as Mrs. Weiss, the case worker at the welfare office who tries to contrive a truce between Precious and her mom.
  • Lenny Kravitz (musician and composer) is super appealing as good-hearted Nurse John.
Other roles are played with zest and good humor, especially the class- mates who attend the alternative school with Precious. Some of the camera work is a little clumsy, e.g., abrupt focus changes, and there are scenes in this movie where we want to hide our eyes, but we are never subjected to gratuitous violence. If we just stick with it - like our eponymous heroine - it will be worth it.

NOTE: Mo'Nique won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress that year.