The trailers for Precious suggest a weepy after-school special. But the movie itself turns out to be an honest piece of work—gritty, unsentimental and unconventional.

The unwieldly full title Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire is the movie’s biggest flaw. Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) is an overweight, under achieving 16-year-old girl whose mother, Mary (Mo’Nique), beats and verbally abuses her.


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