Friday, June 18, 2010

Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Fresh face Gabourey Sidibe was nominated for Best Actress for her role as the illiterate, but smart abused girl in Precious, and was the dark horse for the Best Actress prize, which she lost to Sandra Bullock. However her Best Picture nominated movie won two awards for Best Supporting Actress (Mo'Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay. Although she lost, she now has terrific opportunities to show her talent again and to prove that she was not one-role-wonder.

Precious is a quite overdirected movie with some terrific moments and some really shining actors. The screenplay doesn't scream Oscar to me actually as I find it a bit unbalanced and clichéd. However, it's the terrific acting performances of Gabby Sidibe and Mo'Nique that makes it being worth watching. In my opinion (and I'm not alone on this one), Mo'Nique gives one of the greatest supporting performances ever, winning a much deserved Oscar which nobody would have believed, say, three years ago. But Gabby Sidibe was even more surprising as we did not know anything about this girl, who might become a true star or disappear in a couple of years.

You can see perfectly well that this is the first role Gabby has ever played. She has much to learn about the technical part, however she's masterful with the emotional part. From the moment we see Precious, we feel sympathy for her (instantly) and it's simply heartbreaking to see her fight and difficulities. As Precious she's so realistic that it's no wonder people think that she's actually just like Precious. There's nothing wrong with the credibility, we can always feel and see the pain of this character, but Sidibe also fills her with hope.

Narration is not the best thing you can do in a movie, still Sidibe handles them with such naturality and ease that you are simply amazed and (or at least me) speechless. And her case is not very easy as she has to be impressive with the tour-de-force performance of Mo'Nique, who's truly brilliant. But instead of outacting each other and stealing the spotlight, they co-opearte so well, that in their scenes they both stand out.

Gabourey Sidibe is also brilliant in the very few funny scenes and she knows perfrectly well how and when to use her humor, when to hold herself back and when to show what. However, this brilliance could seem a bit sterile (like I felt when I first saw her), but once you warm up to her, she instantly gets your guts and does not let you.

And her big scene where she reveals a terrible secret of ehrs to the class is simply just mindblowing and it's very hard even for the most stone-hearted person not to cry or at least sob. We get so many emotions right in our faces, it's simply exploding and you just can't to anything and you don't understand your own feeling. This emotional avalanche is probably the highlight of the performance and is probably one of the most heartbreaking scenes I've ever seen.

It's no wonder she's often compared to Whoopi Goldberg's legendary performance as Celie in The Color Purple. The characters are very similar and they both have this naturality and realism which is rarely seen on the silver screen. I hope though that Sidibe will not end up being a talk show host, and I think she definitely has the potential to win an Oscar (if she gets another right part). No matter what, I'm rooting for her career.

OK, to sum up, this is a devastating, moving and heartbreaking piece of art, which could become the part of the history of movies. It truly speaks for itself and one just cannot get across Sidibe's brilliance. The rating is easy and definitely not surprising.

Meryl's next.


Louis Morgan said...

I thought she was good, although the movie never affected me emotionally, maybe I am not stoned hearted but rather heartless.

joe burns said...

I agree! I loved her performance. Subtle, real, devastating work. I was supporting her at Oscar time, but I'm now behind Carey. It's hard to decide between them for me. Great review!

dinasztie said...

Thanks a lot! I'm not telling my feelings, because I don't want to give away the conclusion. :)