Lee Daniels' PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome. Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece 'Precious' Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo'Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn't know the meaning of 'alternative,' but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.
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Cast & Crew
Mo'niqueActorMo'Nique received a standing ovation when she stepped on stage for the first time in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, giving her confidence to pursue a career as a stand-up comedian. After numerous stand-up performances, she took a leap forward with one of the starring roles in The Parkers (1999). Mo'Nique's huge international breakthrough came with her performance in the independent feature film Precious (2009), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and over 30 other major awards for best acting including the most important ones like the Golden Globe, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, the New York Film Critics Circle Award, the Chicago Film Critics Association Award, the Independent Spirit Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, the National Society of Film Critics Award, the BAFTA Film Award and Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize.More
Paula PattonActorPaula Patton was born in Los Angeles, California, to Joyce (Vanraden) and Charles Patton. Her father is African-American and her mother, who is caucasian, has German, English, and Dutch ancestry. Her family lived across the street from the 20th Century Fox lot when she was growing up and she was a fan of films from her earliest years. Her mother, who also appreciated good films, was a schoolteacher, and her father was a lawyer. Paula claims that as a girl she would escape by "pretending to be someone else" so it was not a surprise that she acted in high school plays at Hamilton Magnet Arts High School. Her favorite role was that of "Abigail" in "The Crucible". However, she went on to study film at the University of Southern California in a summer program, and won a 3-month assignment making documentaries for PBS. This led to her working as a production assistant for TV documentaries, and also for Howie Mandel's talk show. She progressed to actually producing documentary segments for Medical Diaries (2000) airing on Discovery Health Channel. Paula now professes that she liked what she was doing, but her dream remained the same as when she was small so she took acting lessons and shifted gears to become a performer. She was almost immediately successful and, within three years, had played parts in major features, Hitch (2005) and Idlewild (2006) and the female lead in Deja Vu (2006) opposite Denzel Washington.More
Gabourey SidibeActorGabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, the star of Precious (2009), was born in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Alice Tan Ridley, is a former special education teacher who gave up her career and became a street performer/singer, while her father, Ibnou Sidibe, is a cab driver. Her mother is African-American and her father is Senegalese. Her parents split when she was a youngster and Gabby grew up in Harlem. Though she was cast in school plays as a child, Sidibe had no interest in acting. She had witnessed her mother's financial struggles as a street singer and wanted the security that an education and a desk job would give her. After attending local colleges, Gabby pursued a degree in psychology at Mercy College. She was in the middle of preparing for an exam when a friend phoned her about an audition for the newest effort from Lee Daniels, Precious (2009). Instead of attending class, she ended up being cast in the title role as Claireece "Precious" Jones, a taciturn, sixteen year-old who is pregnant for the second time after being raped by her father and is also on the receiving end of constant physical abuse by her mother. As grim as the subject matter is, Precious (2009) has become critical success and a source of inspiration for many. While her co-stars, Mo'Nique and Mariah Carey have both received a great deal of critical attention, it is Gabby who is the revelation as Precious, a character whose personality is quite different from her own. Anyone expecting a damaged young woman with no self-esteem is in for a shock after meeting the charming Sidibe. She hopes that her success in the film will motivate others to chase their dreams. Precious (2009) has opened other doors for Sidibe. She has also completed shooting Yelling to the Sky (2011), a project from the Sundance Lab that also stars Zoë Kravitz and has other projects in the works.More
Lenny KravitzActorFour time Grammy Award-winner Leonard Albert Kravitz was born on May 26, 1964 in Manhattan, New York City, New York, the only child of actress Roxie Roker and Hollywood producer Sy Kravitz. The family moved to California when Lenny was ten. His father was Jewish and his mother was of African-American and Afro-Bahamian ancestry. He started playing the drums and guitar at the age of five, influenced by his parents' love of R&B, jazz, classical, opera and blues. In Los Angeles, his mother encouraged him to join the California Boys Choir and Metropolitan Choir. He attended Beverly Hills High School, where he was a contemporary of Slash from Guns N' Roses, graduating in 1982. In the late 1980s he returned to New York to pursue his musical career. Here he met and married Lisa Bonet, who played Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show (1984). They had one child together, a daughter Zoe, but would divorce in 1993. Kravitz signed to Virgin in 1989, releasing his debut album "Let Love Rule" that same year. Just like one of his major early influences, Prince, Kravitz played nearly all the instruments on the album. "Let Love Rule" met mixed critical reviews; his second album, "Mama Said", released two years later, provided him with his major breakthrough. It reached the top 40 of the Billboard album chart, while the single "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" (influenced by his break up with Bonet) reached #2 in the singles charts. His third album "Are You Gonna Go My Way", released in 1994, earned a BRIT award for best international male artist. Following the release of "5" in 1998 and the single "Fly Away", Kravitz won the first of four Grammys for Best Male Vocal Rock Performance. He has also co-written and produced material for various artists such as Madonna, Vanessa Paradis, and Steven Tyler as well as performing on tracks for Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, David Bowie and Jay-Z. While probably best known for his musical career, Kravitz has appeared in a number of movies, most notably his screen debut Precious (2009) and most recently The Hunger Games (2012), in which he played the role of Cinna, the soft-spoken designer who turns Katniss Everdeen Jennifer Lawrence into a star. Kravitz had a supporting role in Precious (2009) director Lee Daniels' film, Lee Daniels' The Butler (2013), and reprised his role as Cinna in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).More
Mariah CareyActorMariah was born on March 27, 1970 in Huntington, Long Island, New York to Patricia Carey (born: Patricia Hickey), an opera singer and vocal coach & Alfred Roy Carey, an aeronautical engineer. Her mother is of Irish descent, and her father was of African & Venezuelan descent. Mariah attended Greenlawn's Harborfields High School. In June 1990, Mariah made her debut with "Mariah Carey" which entered at #73, but on August 4, 1990, it reached #1. Her 1990 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and spawned an extraordinary four consecutive #1 singles: "Vision of Love," "Love Takes Time," "Someday" and "I Don't Wanna Cry," and led to Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Vocalist. Her 1993 album titled Music Box went ten-times platinum. On September 30, 1995, she made music history. Her single "Fantasy" from her 1995 Daydream album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making her the first female artist to accomplish a number one debut in the U.S. Her other Daydream's single "One Sweet Day" remained for 16 weeks at the top of the charts. She is the only artist since The Beatles to have so many #1 singles and albums. With "Heartbreaker", the first single from her 1999 album Rainbow and also her 14 #1 single, she became the only artist to top the charts in each year of the 1990s, and with "Heartbreaker" at its 60th week atop the Billboard's charts, she pushed ahead of The Beatles's 59-week record as the only artist with the most cumulative weeks spent atop Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart. Following "Heartbreaker," her second single "Thank God I Found You" also from her Rainbow album became her 15th #1. "We Belong Together" from her 2005 album The Emancipation of Mimi became her 16th #1 single and was also her first #1 without any guest artists since her song "My All" (also a #1 single) captured the top spot in May 1998. The single "Don't Forget About Us" also from her 2005 album Emancipation of Mimi became her 17th #1 single, tying her with Elvis Presley's 17 #1 singles. Three more Grammy Awards were gained from The Emancipation of Mimi album. She is the most successful selling female artist in music history and is the only female artist to have the most #1 singles and albums and also holds the record for straight #1 singles and albums each year. Along with numerous awards and incredible vocal range, she also composes all of her own material, with the exception of song covers. In April 2008, the single "Touch My Body" became her 18th #1 single, pushing her ahead of Elvis Presley's 17 #1 singles. Now she is the only artist since The Beatles to have as many number one singles and the only singer alive likely to succeed them.More