Also opening: 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire'

One of the year's most acclaimed independent films — despite its clunky title — is Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (R). Seriously, Lionsgate, if a title is too long to fit on a theater marquee and the bulk of it is a screen credit, anyway, why bother?

Precious (sorry, but that's how I'm rolling) stars newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe in the title role, a morbidly obese Harlem teenager, twice impregnated by her father and regularly abused by her mother (Mo'Nique). Both women are being touted as Academy Award contenders, along with director Lee Daniels and screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher.

Despite the downbeat setup, Precious is being hailed as an eventually uplifting film, as Precious gains confidence and an education with the help of a social worker (Mariah Carey, looking decidedly unglamorous).

Precious wasn't viewed by a Times critic in time for Weekend. Look for a review at entertainment. tampabay.com and on Etc, Page 2B.

Also opening: 'Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire' 11/18/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 9:58am]

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