Flipping through the Sundance schedule book, I came across the commanding picture to the right. Immediately, I picked out Push (as it was named back then) as the Must-See film of the festival. My hunches aren't often right when it comes to which movies film juries are going to choose (Kidman/The Hours over Lane/Unfaithful? Are you kidding me?) but as screenings of Push began to return wholly positive feedback, it looked like my pick was on its way.
As you may or may not know, it went on to win both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award, only the third film in Sundance history to do so. As Oscar murmurs begin to circulate, the word Precious keeps getting placed next to "Best Actress," "Best Supporting Actress," "Best Director," "Best Picture," among others. I wouldn't be surprised if those pairings are still being made come gametime.
Lee Daniels (Shadowboxer) did the unthinkable when he cast the film’s supporting roles. First, he brought on a comedian, Mo’Nique, to play the wretched villain. Then he cast two singers (one, a Worst Actress Razzie "winner") to play substantial characters. Lenny Kravitz plays a nurse who bonds with Precious after she delivers her baby and Mariah Carey plays a social worker who swears to help the standoffish teenager.
As unprobable as successful results seemed, all of the pieces come together and really deliver one hell of a film. Carey is almost unrecognizable in her role and ends every doubt about her acting chops that Glitter set in place. Mo’Nique’s performance as the abusive mother is untouchable. Thankfully, she got the praise she deserved when she won Sundance's Special Jury Prize for Acting.