The Bug and I went Wednesday to see Precious. Which means that we've now seen all of the films that include Best Actress nominations and all Best Picture nominees, except for two.
This movie , like another nominated Best Picture, The Hurt Locker, is utterly unrelenting and unflinching in its depiction of shocking and horrifying circumstances. In this case, it is the physical and sexual abuse of its heroine (and in every sense of the word), Precious, a teenage girl who lives a living nightmare in her apartment with her monstrous mother, played by Mo'Nique.
Hand Mo'Nique the award for everything because that is the most electrifying, perfectly realized performance in the history of film making. There is nothing likable about this character. And yet Mo'Nique delivers a performance that is so tragic, so frightening, and heartbreaking.
I must say as fair warning: this movie deals blatantly and candidly with incest/rape/physical abuse. It is not an easy movie to watch in this respect. And yet the movie is a work of intense dark beauty.
Precious, played brilliantly by Gibourey Sidabay (such a beautiful name), is the most abused person I think that has ever been depicted on the screen and yet somehow this character finds a way to move forward, and is certainly the most unlikely candidate. Precious is an obese teenager, who with a push of good intention from her High School principal is sent to a school which is designed to educate students with the same challenges as Precious. It is through this school that Precious, in spite of horrific acts of abuse, learns that she is a precious one of god's creatures and after having given birth to her second child (Precious' father was the father of her two babies) finds the courage and strength to walk away from her mother.
This movie is still resonating in my mind. I literally at moments during the film screamed or cried "NO!" it was that astonishing and unrelenting.
So, for my Oscar predictions/preferences. I ultimately think, having seen all of the Best Actress nominees' performances, that the race is down to Sandra Bullock and Helen Mirren (Carey Mulligan maybe). Ms. Sidabay gives a landmark performance, yes. But compared with MoNique's interpretation it isn't landmark enough, IMHO, to rate as Best Actress. I'm rooting for Sandra at this point!
See this movie. Lee Daniels also certainly deserves to win Best Director. But I think that honor will end up going to the director of The Hurt Locker.
What are your thoughts/predictions?
Tomorrow morning I'll go to see the last film I'll be able to view before the award ceremony Sunday evening. That's A Single Man.
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