Anyways, Precious is abused (the target of flower pots and frying pans thrown by Mary) and abused (impregnated two times via her father) and wants better, although she won't ever let anyone help her. But when her school principal (Nealla Gordon) gives her the address for an alternate school, she goes on it. And she meets the most inspiring person she could, a teacher known as Ms. Rain (Paula Patton). And here's where everything goes into a whirlwind.
Whereas (nearly) everything in the sections at home was grounded, realistic, and well-done, in the Each One Teach One scenes control is lost. It becomes much more cliche, and it takes on the face of one of those inspiring films. Not that there's anything wrong with that in itself, but here it looks a little amateurish after the grit of the first half. I guess it's supposed to be a contrast between abuse and good, but couldn't it be a little better done? At the New York Film Festival screening I attended last night (one in which the film was started 45 minutes late and multiple times protesting claps and boos were overheard), director Lee Daniels said the cops were running after them while the film was being shot. Could this be one of the negative results of that?
Well, I should mention the other supporting characters in the film. Mrs. Weiss (Mariah Carey) is a welfare person, and while she probes Precious for a long time, she can't get the full picture about what's going on within that household until a climactic scene that has to be one of the most moving and yet most appalling in a while. And, of course, there's Nurse John, who is interesting to watch because of who's playing him (I won't mention names), even though he's in perhaps the film's weakest section. All in all, I think "Precious" the film isn't a very good contender for any awards, even though the buzz is overflowing (Sundance and Toronto audience awards). The editing saps a lot of the power out, and the scenes of inspiration are dreamy yet take up a large block of the time. But it does contain a fantastic supporting performance, one that's worthy of all the acclaim it gets. B