Trisha's Take: Precious adds to its Oscars buzz in Toronto

PreciousThanks to having focused on releasing both Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler last year with both receiving Oscars nominations (and in Millionaire‘s case, winning almost all of its categories), the Toronto Film Festival has become the new “it” place to stage a run for the Oscars.

Like an ouroboros feeding on itself, the media noted this and swarmed to the festival this year and thanks to its win of the People’s Choice award (as helpfully summarized here by Moviehole.com), Precious, Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire has now become the film to beat in the Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress categories due to similar wins at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

Starring newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in the title role with Mo’Nique playing her invalid mother, the film is based on the 1996 debut novel from poet and performance artist Sapphire, and to be perfectly honest, the subject matter is something that the Oscars audience usually eats up: downtrodden person overcomes unforgivable obstacles with the help of inspirational teachers.

That the “unforgivable obstacles” include incest, teen pregnancy and sexual abuse is perhaps the film’s only stumbling block because unlike Juno and its win two years ago, there ain’t nothing fluffy about how the problems in Precious begin.

(Now that I think about it a little more deeply, I think that Geoffrey Fletcher, the screenwriter for Precious should also be nominated for the adapted screenplay award because having been able to translate the novel’s stream of conscious narrative into film is definitely some kind of achievement.)

Having both Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey as two of your executive producers also won’t hurt the movie’s chances at all… or perhaps it could hinder them as both Perry and Winfrey are such entertainment powerhouses that it could turn the voting audience away from such spectacle.

Still, I do have to give Mo’Nique a lot of credit because when she was on the WPIX morning news show here in New York City last week promoting the movie, she pooh-poohed the entertainment reporter’s questions about the producing duo, saying that sophomore director Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer) really deserved all the credit for creating and crafting the production.

Also starring Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey (yes, really), Precious will be in limited release in the U.S. on November 6.

Posted on September 21, 2009 at 06:35 by Trisha Lynn · Permalink
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