It screened last night to a standing ovation and a few people have singled out actress Mo'Nique as being amazing, as well as the lead actress Gabourey Sidibe who makes her film debut. Of course it is still early days and I am not going to even being to think about awards prospects for this....given the cast a subject matter it probably wouldn't get any anyway.
Of course this morning I was glued to the computer trying to find any information or reviews of the film. I found this from Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly:
Sometimes, a movie has to take you down -- and I mean down, really far -- in order to lift you up. Push (pictured), adapted from a novel by Sapphire (the film's full, rather awkward title is Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire), does just that. The picture is utterly merciless in how it presents its heroine: a teenage girl from Harlem named Precious Jones who is a stunted, abused, childishly inarticulate, morbidly obese shell of a human being, with a face so inexpressive -- so utterly locked in -- that it might be a visor clamped down over her real features. The director, Lee Daniels, shows us the awful circumstances that have caused Precious to be the way she is (she is pregnant -- for the second time -- by her drug-addict father), and the actress Gabourey Sidibe plays her without a flicker of sentimentality, but with barely visible tremors of emotion that cue us to everything this arrested girl is holding back. Push shows us how a young woman who is nothing but a thick, bruised wall of walking scar tissue slowly emerges, pulling herself out of her living hell, and Daniels demonstrates unflinching daring as a filmmaker by going this deep, this far, this ruthlessly into the pathologies of rage and dependence that can still linger in the haunted closets of impoverished African-American life. Push is one of those films that make you think, "There but for the grace of God go I," but it's a potent and moving experience, because by the end you feel you've witnessed nothing less than the birth of a soul.
Be prepared for a lot of posts about 'Push'. It makes me happy that a gay film maker has gotten off to such a strong start, especially at one of the biggest festivals of the year.
For all my gay readers, please check out After Elton's breakdown of gay related films showing at Sundance. Here is to a happy queer 2009.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Supporting Actress