I finally went and saw the new movie Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire. The film was an amazing portrayal of a teenage, overweight, black girl, coming from an abusive (which really doesn’t begin to describe what the poor girl had to suffer through) home, in Harlem, during the mid 80’s. With stellar performances by comedian, Monique and new comer Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, as Precious, this film is a must see for everyone, but particularly women, women of color and young women.
Although the subject matter is compelling enough to create a post on that topic alone, my angle, as a former film student, is my pessimism regarding the acknowledgment of similar great performances by African American Actors in Hollywood land. My pessimism says that the performance Monique gave, as the abusive, jealous mother of the protagonist, will not grant her an Oscar, the ultimate thumbs up from the film industry. For all those who saw the movie, Monique’s monologue during the final scene of the film, was probably the greatest performance of the year. Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe, who played the title role, is a new comer to the film game and gave an outstanding performance that will be remembered by anyone who sees this film. Enough to make the hardest thug, or the toughest man's man, break out into a tear. A film like this, which brings forth such raw and intense emotions out of the deepest parts of the audience’s soul, is a worthy of being honored.
Unfortunately I doubt that will happen. This will not happen for many reasons, but particularly because it is a movie starring an unattractive young black girl dealing with real issues that our kids unfortunately deal with everyday. There is no made up, epic story here. No compelling, glamorous biopic, or uplifting story about the white man saving the black person from himself. This is the truth like it or not right up in your grill. BOYAAAAHHHH!!!!
The Janitor recently did a blog post about how Hollywood consistently portrays black folks in a role, in which they are unable to do anything for themselves without the help of white people. Well this movie shows a young sister doing it all by herself with some help here and there from people of her own race. This story is a testament to young women of color, in an era where if you don’t have a video vixen body, aren’t willing to “put’em on the glass, or aren’t “giving it up” at 14 then you aren’t worth anything. It is a testament that no matter what you look like, what sort of turmoil you’ve come from, or what anyone tells you, YOU are the master of your destiny. You control your successes and your failures and you have the power to overcome any obstacle that is set before you. If Precious can do it, then so can you.