The 62nd annual Cannes Film Festival welcomed today director
Lee Daniels and cast members of the film Precious
Mariah Carey, Gabourey Sibide, Lenny Kravitz and Paula Patton. The film, winner
of three awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival will play tonight in the
official selection of the Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard. Below are
photos from the filmâ€™s photocall and luncheon in Cannes, France and early film
appeared in front of reporters alongside her co-stars in the gritty, urban
drama here at Cannes on Friday after a smashing debut at last January's
Sundance Film Festival. In the film, she portrays a welfare case worker to a
young, overweight teenager, Precious, whose life in the ghetto is hard.
To perform in the part, the glamorous Carey stripped down to
her basic self and was required to wear no makeup except that which gave her
dark circles under her eyes and made her look weary and worn. Yet Carey said it
was among the best work she could have imagined.
"Doing it... was exhausting, exhilarating and it was just an honor,"
Mariah told reporters at Cannes.
Her director, Lee Daniels, said she plays entirely against type, and watching
her perform - along with those of another music star Lenny Kravitz, comedian
Mo'Nique and newcomer Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe" - will be a
unique experience for her fans. "Mariah has never played this type
before," said Daniels.
The movie came out of Sundance, at that time under a working title called
"Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire") with an award and Oscar buzz.
U.S. audiences can look for it on November 6, and international audiences will
see it as it rolls out country by country.
The New York Post
is heartbreaking. Even the trailer will make you tear up. There's simply no
avoiding the emotions. So find the nearest tissue or shirt sleeve and watch the
Michael Glitz, The Huffington Post
captures the pugnacious, dreaming, hopeful tone of the book by Sapphire very
well and contains a clutch of good performances, including the lead (Gabourey
Sidibe), Mariah Carey (!) and especially Mo'Nique as Precious's hateful mother.
She's so good it's possible she'll even get an Oscar nomination. I can't wait
to see the next film by Daniels. It's called Tennessee and it stars Carey. So
Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
As Ms. Weiss, Mariah Carey is a linchpin in the story, bearing witness to
unspeakable breaches of faith Precious has been forced to endure. Carey's
frank, unblinking performance is so free of mannerism and vanity that it
literally takes a few moments to realize that it's her on screen. And it's all
the more remarkable considering she joined the film's cast only three days
said, just let me kind of peel layers away of who the world thinks I am and even
I personally think I am as a performer, and really, truly become this woman,
who has a large responsibility," Carey said here today . "In a way,
she is the audience, she is that shocked person who hears about what goes on
and has to bare her soul because she's hearing something so horrific that she's
never heard before." Even with such a daunting role and on such short
notice, Carey says, she was confident she could do it. "Because I know
that there's a creative side of me that needs to do work like this, and I trust
Lee so much that I felt that there was no way we couldn't pull something out we
could both be proud of."
Mo'Nique is already being touted as a probable Oscar
nominee for her performance as Mary (she couldn't be in Cannes due to
commitments to BET and her children, but she taped "Oprah" earlier
this week). But with a well-timed release late in the year,
"Precious" might bring Carey a nomination, too. It couldn't have
escaped either woman's notice that Daniels shepherded Halle Berry to her Oscar
win in 2002, for "Monster's Ball."Elizabeth Renzetti, The Globe and Mail
Oprah Winfrey is one of the producers of Precious, which is based on the
autobiographical novel Push by
Sapphire. There's a familiar triumph-through-adversity message and the whole
thing does threaten to drown in its own pain, but it's saved by the
performances, not least a strong cameo by an almost unrecognizable Mariah
Carey, makeup- and diamond-free, as a social worker who's seen it all.