Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)



Critic Consensus: Precious is a grim yet ultimately triumphant film about abuse and inner-city life, largely bolstered by exceptional performances from its cast.

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Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Photos

Movie Info

Monster's Ball producer Lee Daniels follows up his 2005 directorial debut, Shadowboxer, with this adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel about an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers an alternate path in life after she begins attending a new school. Clareece "Precious" Jones is only a teenager, yet she's about to give birth to her second child. Unable to read or write, Clareece shows little prospect for the future until discovering that she has been accepted into an alternative school. There, with a little help from a sympathetic teacher (Paula Patton) and a kindly nurse (Lenny Kravitiz), the young girl receives something that most teens never get -- a chance to start over. Mo'nique co-stars in an inspirational drama featuring the debut performance of screen newcomer Gabourey "Gabbie" Sidibe. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
R (for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language)
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Written By:
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Gabourey Sidibe
as Precious
as Mary
Paula Patton
as Ms. Rain
Mariah Carey
as Mrs. Weiss
Sherri Shepherd
as Cornrows
Lenny Kravitz
as Nurse John
Chyna Layne
as Rhonda
Amina Robinson
as Jermaine
Angelic Zambrana
as Consuelo
Aunt Dot
as Toosie
Nealla Gordon
as Mrs. Lichtenstein
Grace Hightower
as Social Worker
Barret Mindell
as Tom Cruise
Kimberly Russell
as Katherine
Bill Sage
as Mr. Wicher
Susan L. Taylor
as Fairy Godmother
Kendall Toombs
as Abdul, newborn
Alexander Toombs
as Abdul, newborn
Cory Davis
as Abdul, 9 months
Rochelle McNaughton
as AIDS Clerk
Sapphire Boyce
as Day Care Woman
Linda Watson
as Female Clerk
Emani Reid
as Girl #1
Ashley Livingston
as Girl With Jermaine
Maurizio Arseni
as Italian Language Instructor
as KFC Cashier
Deborah Lohse
as Lady #1
Joye Davoren
as Lady #2
Joyce Davoren
as Lady #2
DeWanda Wise
as Miriam
Vivien Eng
as Nurse
Silje Vallevik
as Pretty Blond Girl
Matt Bralow
as Reggie
Ephraim Benton
as Skinny Boy #1
Shortee Redd
as Skinny Boy #2
Timothy Allen Smith
as Skinny Boy #3
Kola Ogundrian
as Skinny Man
Christopher Joseph
as Unruly Boy #1
Victor Woodley
as Unruly Boy #2
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Critic Reviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

All Critics (222) | Top Critics (44)

The remarkable Sidibe is one of several daring casting choices by director Lee Daniels.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011
Top Critic

Precious is an emotional powerhouse, a triumph of bruising humor and bracing hope that deserves its place among the year's best films.

Full Review… | February 1, 2011
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

A film full of life and love, well-meaning and, judging by the reaction in the US, a genuine and important phenomenon that says act - don't dwell - on your dreams.

Full Review… | February 2, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Avoiding the conventional tricks of lifting an audience up, the movie looks into this girl's wide, brown face and her bleak little life and sees, despite everything, a reason to live.

Full Review… | November 24, 2009
Boston Globe
Top Critic

If you do watch -- and you certainly should -- you will see one of the most remarkable performances ever set to film, given by Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe.

Full Review… | November 20, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

It melodramatizes everything and yet its overall effect is something more than melodrama.

Full Review… | November 20, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

The greatest achievement of this bleak drama is how it makes us sympathize with a character that could have been easily stereotyped if played by a not-so-great actress, but Sidibe is superb as well as Mo'Nique, who shines as the selfish mother.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Deriving from some controversial source material, "Precious" is a very well made picture with performances that will blow your mind. It is definitely a film for people with strong stomaches and someone who can cope well with watching or hearing about rape. It revolves around the life of Clareece, an abused teenager who has never gone to school and is raped by her father to birth children into the family. Her transformation out of the family is really what the core of this movie is about, and it is shown with pure wonder, with some very cool stylistic techniques and questionable editing. This film feels a little too explicit at times, but I loved watching it, and it's very commendable. Definitely worth it's praise!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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