For over a year I had been hyping this film in my mind, and subsequent reviews and articles have not helped me find that objective state of mind to see this movie.
In the end I made up my mind that I wanted this film to be everything, but there was no way it was capable of living up to the exceedingly high expectations I had raised to in my mind.
I went in determined to pick the film apart, then sort the pieces out until I was able to separate the film I had put on a pedestal without seeing, and what was happening before my eyes.
What I didn't expect was to have those expectations met, and as the film progressed, have them raised.
To someone who loved the book and expected so much, there were no false notes played. Lee Daniels has managed to stir up feelings in me that have shaken my very soul.
To be honest this is probably not the best time to write this as I only left the cinema 3 hours ago, and it is still very much with me. I cannot remember the last time I had such a reaction to a movie (possibly 'Dancer in the Dark).
Gabourey Sidibe, was, well I cannot put it into words. It was so much more than a performance as it is something you never question. A total immersion into her character helps you understand people not being able to separate the real her from Precious. It is so real it is alarming.
Mo'Nique was everything you have heard. Her scene at the end is not what you expect it to be from the reviews thus far. It is terrifying. You see the realization come across her face when she admits out loud what she has done. She finally understands what she has done.
Was Mariah a surprise? She was. Forget the lack of make up or facial hair, she gave a depth and soul to a small role, and when she cracks, you feel her horror at having to listen to these confessions.
But every performance was pitch perfect. All the players made their respective characters lived in and real.
But at the end it is Lee Daniels who made this all happen. I could write forever but I won't. I will just say that for once, with a film I love, awards honestly mean nothing.
I never do this but:
Grace - A+
(note. I actually do not believe in giving anything higher than an 'A' grade. I got carried away by the films impact on me.)