Sunday, February 21, 2010
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
I put off seeing "Precious", even with its good reviews, because I was afraid it would be very depressing or, as I used to say in my salad days, "a gratuitous bummer". It's not that, even though the main character's life is harrowing. The reason we can endure watching the details of Precious' miserable existence is that the director, Lee Daniels, and the editor, Joe Klotz, have done a clever thing. The first part of the film, where everything is introduced, is cut in a rapid, almost music video style. This artistic choice has the effect of partially insulating the viewer from the horrors. The second half of the film, where the possibility of hope appears, is shot and edited in a slower, more conventional style. It works. It's a good film.