AFP: Coming-of-age ghetto tale 'Precious'
triumphs at Cannes
US indie movie "Precious"
, the tale of an obese
teenager trying to escape a lifetime of abuse, won a standing ovation for its
director Lee Daniels at the Cannes festival Friday.
was moved to tears by the enthusiastic welcome for his film, which picked up
the Grand Jury prize at Sundance and is running on the Riviera for the Un
Certain Regard prize for new film talent.
director was flanked by his mother, and by US singers Mariah Carey and Lenny
Kravitz, who both hold supporting roles in the film -- she as a dowdy social
worker and he as a male nurse -- and who brought a splash of glamour to the
1980s Harlem, Daniels' harrowing film is the story of an illiterate black
teenager, crushed by abuse and pregnant with her second child, who finds a
chance to escape a dead-end life through a learn-to-read scheme.
director said before the screening of his film, which is adapted from the Novel
"Push" by Sapphire, that he was "deeply honored" to be in
is a dream, and it is a far cry from where I came from," he told the
People: Mariah Carey Undergoes Dramatic
Transformation for New Movie
Carey is known to fans as one of the most glamorous women in the world. But now
they are about to see a different side of her in a gritty new movie.
undergoes a transformation from her usual glam self into a dowdy social worker
in the drama Precious
, which was well received â€“ as was
Carey's performance â€“ at its Cannes screening Friday.
only reactions from fans who have seen the trailer and twittered me have said
the movie's amazing," Carey tells PEOPLE. "No one has said, 'Girl I
can't believe you are there with those dark circles under your eyes and wearing
a wig and looking nasty.' No one went that far."
husband, Nick Cannon, has been equally positive. "My husband's response
was over-the-top supportive and amazing. It was not like, 'I can't believe you
let yourself look like that in the movie.' "
is based on the book Push by Sapphire and tells the story of a young girl
growing up amid terrible domestic abuse in Harlem. It will be released to the
public on Nov. 6.
a small gathering of press at Cannes, "[The book] is intense and it is
life-changing. I said, 'Let me peel layers away of who the world thinks I am,
of who I personally think I am as a performer, as anything, and become, truly
become, this woman who has a large responsibility.' "
character, Carey said: "She is the audience and is that shocked person who
hears what goes on and has to kind of bare her soul because she's hearing
something that is so horrific that she's never heard before. There's a creative
side of me that needs to do work like this."
chosen for the part at the last minute. "I thought how bold would it be to
cast Mariah," says director Lee Daniels. "If she could dye her hair,
put on a wig, take off the makeup, darken under the eyes, I believed she would
begin to give me her soul. And she did."
result, according to singer Lenny Kravitz, who plays a nurse in the movie,
The Huffington Post: Cannes 2009: Mariah
Carey in Precious
spectator of this new dramatic film by Lee Daniels, who has a tad of a
self-esteem issue, will identify with the pains of this story. Indeed, the
singer Mariah Carey -- who does an astonishingly good job as the compassionate
social worker who deals with the dysfunctional family -- said at a press
conference that what she liked about this film was that "Every one of us
is Precious. And every one of us can make it like Precious does at the end of
the film. So the film gives us hope."
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