I now understand what the hype is about. This is a very thought provoking and brutally honest movie about a girl who was consistently raped by her father and both verbally and physically abused by her mother. The only thing that keeps her sane throughout these horrors is to imagine herself as a Cinderella at the Ball kind of character.
Precious is failing school but one teacher recognizes in her, an aptitude for math. The guidence counseler recommends that Precious go to a special education school. There Precious is treated with respect and slowly starts to come out of her shell and start to have goals for herself.
All the while, her mother is doing her utmost to prevent Precious from learning, constantly calling her stupid and telling her she can never be anything. Her mother is a couch potato who only cares about fooling the welfare agency to keep her check coming. It is only until very late in the film that the audience learns why she is so bad with Precious.
This is the type of movie that shows you no matter what the human soul endures there can always be hope even in the darkest of times.
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