Precious parents guide

Precious Parent Guide

This movie's mature subject matter should be seriously considered before settling down in front of the screen.

Overall C

Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Precious follows the life and trials of a Harlem teenager (played by Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe), whose name stands in stark contrast to the way she is treated by her abusive family.

Release date November 6, 2009

Violence C-
Sexual Content D+
Profanity D
Substance Use C+

Why is Precious rated R? The MPAA rated Precious R for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language.

Run Time: 110 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Sensitive in so many ways, Precious is a movie that is difficult for any reviewer to tackle—especially a white guy living in Western Canada. I can’t help but feel there are cultural cues embedded deep within this film that would be interpreted completely differently depending on the viewer’s background, culture and environment.

Having said that, one thing is for certain: This film is not at all appropriate for children. Even teens and adults, who haven’t experienced anything like the sexual and mental trauma portrayed on the screen, may have a difficult time making it through to the closing credits. Yet the movie’s central character does demonstrate that, even in the most difficult of circumstances, a person can choose to improve themselves and their situation. And it is this small sliver of hope that may make Precious’ worth your time and emotional energy.

The movie’s title is the name of a 16-year-old black girl living in late 1980s Harlem with her highly abusive mother Mary (Mo’Nique). Hit by frying pans and other objects, Precious attends to her demanding parent’s needs, including a vague insinuation of sexual services. Meanwhile, the teen is pregnant with her second child—both of which were conceived after she was raped by her father.

With fantasizing being her only escape, Precious’s world appears to be as bleak as anyone can imagine, until her school principal intervenes and assigns her to an alternative institution. There she meets Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), a determined woman who works with a small group of mostly illiterate students. For the first time, Precious begins to see some possibility of a new life. However, to continue with her education she must also meet with Mrs. Weiss (Mariah Carey), a social worker determined to discover what is really happening in the girl’s home. Knowing her mother will lose her welfare checks if she reveals the truth, Precious is torn between Mary’s wrath or finally standing up for her own life.

Ms. Rain and her lesbian partner offer support to the beleaguered youth, along with other members of her newfound community, creating the first somewhat positive environment this child has ever experienced. Still, even with that tiny ray of light shining at the end of her miserable life’s tunnel, this movie demands more than just a box office price from its viewers. Questionable as to whether audience members will leave feeling empowered, overwhelmed, optimistic, discouraged or just simply exhausted, this movie’s mature subject matter should be seriously considered before settling down in front of the screen.

Starring Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, Lee Daniels.. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release November 6, 2009. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Precious rated R? Precious is rated R by the MPAA for child abuse including sexual assault, and pervasive language.

Mature sexual themes pervade this movie about a teen girl who has been raped numerous times by her father (one scene briefly shows this act without explicit nudity). There is also a vague inference that her mother is sexually abusing her as well. Masturbation is implied in a scene where a woman is shown in bed under the covers. Depictions of domestic violence and physical abuse are abundant. A mother frequently hits her daughter, sometimes with objects like frying pans. She also attempts to drop a television on her and her baby after they have fallen down a flight of stairs. In other scenes, characters are pushed or violently threatened in argumentative situations. Language includes countless sexual expletives, scatological terms and other moderate and mild profanities. Tobacco use is portrayed. A mother is shown breastfeeding.

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Precious Parents' Guide

How can education empower people? Have you ever considered how your education has helped you gain control of your life and allowed you to direct your future?

What purpose do you feel movies like this provide? Do you think audiences will feel a need to help people in similar situations to Precious, or will they instead feel the situation is overwhelmingly hopeless?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Precious movie is March 9, 2010. Here are some details…

Precious releases to DVD and Blu-ray on March 9, 2010.

Related home video titles:

Other characters attempt to rise above crippling circumstances in Antwone Fisher, 28 Days, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, Freedom Writers and The Blind Side.

Precious is based on the novel Push by Sapphire.

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