Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Precious the movie

The Winner goes to:

I think this Oscar season should be EXCITING!!! Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz and my girl Erica Watson were excellent in the movie “Precious”; however, the breakout star was newcomer Gabourey Sidibe.

Gabourey had no acting experience when she auditioned for the lead role in "Precious," director Lee Daniels' drama about a sexually abused Harlem teenager. The film is based on the Sapphire novel, "Push," (Vintage). It was by chance that Sidibe, a New York psychology student, found herself in the Bronx that fateful day. "I didn't decide to go to the audition," she recalls. "I just ended up on that side of the street. Isn't that weird?" So, when Daniels offered her the career-making part within hours of her audition, it's no surprise that tears shot from Sidibe's eyes. "Like water pistols," she says. "It just didn't make sense to my life that I would be starring in some movie."

It makes sense when you hear Daniels tell the story. Daniels, who produced 2001's Oscar-winning "Monster's Ball," interviewed hundreds of women when casting for Claireece "Precious" Jones, an illiterate, overweight black teen mother of two whose horrific circumstances take a turn when she is given a second chance at an alternative school. Daniels' error, he says, was in seeking an actress similar to Precious, a young lady so abused in every way by her mother and father that she rarely speaks and is almost inaudible when she does. Sidibe couldn't be more different. "I realized I needed someone to act that, not be that," he says. "I knew she (Sidibe) was the girl. She brought a sense of confidence and smarts (to the role). She got it."

Sidibe, who was raised by her mother, R&B singer Alice Tan Ridley, in Brooklyn, is the opposite of the Precious we meet early on in the film. Sidibe is articulate, assertive and vivacious. "For the first week on set, she was just 'Precious' to me," says co-star Paula Patton, who plays Precious' teacher, Ms. Rain. "Then we're in the makeup trailer and she's all, 'Do you watch 'The Hills?' She talks like a girl from the (San Fernando) Valley." Patton, who starred opposite Denzel Washington in 2006's "DEJÃ Vu," calls working with Sidibe a humbling experience. "She's a superstar," she says. "She's so magnetic. I was blown away by her performance. I think actors can work their whole lives and not turn out a performance like she has done."

This film is A MUST SEE. In Theaters NOW

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