Gabourey Sidibe – A “Precious” Star
Precious, the film based on the novel Push by Sapphire, stars amazing newcomer Gabourey Sidibe.
Sidibe is featured on the current cover of the New York Times magazine. Precious has gotten rave reviews from critics, starring Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton and Lenny Kravitz all in standout roles. The movie is executive produced by heavy weights Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey.
Back in January, Oprah saw the movie Precious just before it debuted to rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival, where it went on to win the competition’s coveted Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for Acting (for Mo’nique). Oprah has said she was utterly blown away by the film.
Director Lee Daniels’ harrowing adaptation of Sapphire’s 1996 novel depicts the inspirational tale of an overweight African-American teenage girl nicknamed Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) who rises above poverty, pregnancy and physical abuse to find redemption.
Oprah was so taken by this film, that she and fellow fan Tyler Perry helped in brokering Precious a $5.5 million distribution deal with Lionsgate, and even came aboard as executive producers.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Oprah said in a statement at the time. “The moment I saw [Precious] I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The film is so raw and powerful – it split me open.”
True to her word, the talk-show queen has thrown her full support behind Precious with an uncommon voraciousness, publicly campaigning for it on her talk show (where the trailer debuted) and lining up guest appearances with the stars and filmmaker in advance of the movie’s November 6 theatrical release.
Most recently, Oprah headed north of the border for the Toronto International Film Festival to thump for the indie gem, joining stars Sidibe, Mariah Carey, Mo’nique, Paula Patton and Sherri Shepherd at the film’s red carpet, as well as at the film’s press conference.
She also reiterated her endorsement of the movie, saying, “It is so raw. It will suck the air out of the room at the end of the film, and that’s a good thing.”
As the movie’s tag line says, “Life is Rich. Life is Precious” and so are the prospects for this little-indie-that-could.