Precious ***+

February 11, 2010 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Precious (saddled with the unwieldy subtitle: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire) manages the task of being both heartbreaking and heart-warming, all without resorting to the kind of manipulation so often evident in dramas about underprivileged kids trying to improve themselves. There are pitfalls inherent in this kind of story, but indie director Lee Daniels sidesteps them, crafting a feature that is both emotionally honest and stirring. Precious spends time in the urban trenches that are often used as a colorful backdrop for other less true films; here, they are integral to the essence of the characters, places where acts of supreme horror are dismissed matter-of-factly. Ultimately, Precious is a story of one young woman’s embrace of self-worth in these circumstances, but that discovery does not come without a price.

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