Friday, March 05, 2010

Oscarwatch 2010 - Precious and The Blind Side

As the night of the Oscars gets closer and closer, all of us here at Do You Hear That Buzzing get closer and closer to completing our reviews of the top 10 nominees. Tonight we will look at two dramas with veryyy different endings, Precious and The Blind Side.

In Precious we see the story of Clareece Precious Jones, an overweight black teenage girl who is pregnant for the second time by her father, horribly abused by her mother, and so far behind in her schooling that she can’t even read. As we learn more and more about her life and circumstances, it just becomes more horrifying. Even as Precious starts to gain confidence in herself at a new school, makes friends, and ultimately finds a way to free herself of her mother, she cannot fully break away from the life that she never chose. Without giving away plot points, I’ll suffice it to say that at the end of this film, we are not left uplifted. Rather sad and a little bit overwhelmed at what we’ve just seen take place.

For someone who was raised in a loving, nurturing environment with wonderful family and friends, the things that take place in Precious are almost unfathomable. As more and more of the film unfolded, I found myself becoming disgusted and depressed at Precious’ situation. Really, what could she do to get out of her situation? Not much.

The acting in this movie is a big part of the reason it was so effective in making the story believable and emotionally raw. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays Precious wonderfully, showing us a girl that is so drawn into herself because of her circumstances, but so ready to be liberated from the life she was born into. Mo’Nique really steals the show though, as Precious’ abusive mother, always thinking that her daughter had “stole her man,” and treating her so through physical and verbal abuse. The way Mo’Nique handled this role was amazing, she played it through and through, although the things she was doing/saying must have disgusted her. She is going to win the Best Supporting Actress category for this, hands down.

Overall, Precious is a wonderfully made movie, showing the harsh reality of abuse and a teenage’s girls quest to overcome the odds and break free of the harsh world she lives in. And although we don’t come to a heartwarming conclusion, it is an important work to see, and it was an important movie to be made, for “All the Precious girls out there.”

Marci Meter
3.5 out of 5

Superb acting, but the story was just too overwhelming for me at times. Which should really give it a higher mark, but it made me feel pretty low.

Our next movie starts with a teenager who is down and out, but it ends in a much different way. In The Blind Side, we follow the story of a high school football player with no home and family, as he is taken in by a wealthy family, and makes it to college on a football scholarship. This is based on the real life story of Michael Oher, who now plays professionally for the Baltimore Ravens.

Unlike Precious, here we get a much more canned version of down and out teen “saved,” if you will, by a generous, wonderful woman and her loving, adorable family. Guess which one of these two films did better at the box office? Yup, you guessed it - Blind Side, which definitely isn’t the usual type of film picked for a Best Picture nomination by the Academy.

Another big surprise from this movie is not only Sandra Bullock’s Best Actress nomination, but the fact that she seems to be a front runner in the category, alongside Meryl Streep. But I will give Sandy props, she did a helluva job in this role.

This movie was heartwarming and left you feeling warm and fuzzy, but it didn’t really do all that much for me. Sure, it was commercially successful, but I don’t think this film really compares to a lot of the other nominees. Sorry America, but in the words of Shania Twain, “it don’t impress-a me much.”

Marci Meter
2.5 out of 5


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