CIFF 09: Precious
Since I've been away for two days from regular, review-based festival coveragebusy, I don't mind saying, submitting a dossier of 400+ pages of new writing and teaching materials to ensure the security of my job for the next three yearsI figured I needed to come back full swing to keep you hooked on this CIFF material. So what better time to reveal the one exception I made to my general rule of avoiding the marquee presentations of imminent commercial releases? Even if I'm at least as excited about the possibilities of Antichrist, playing elsewhere in the festival lineup, and of Where the Wild Things Are, which I'm dutifully skipping till the festival is over, there was no way anyone was keeping me away from Precious. At this point the film needs no introduction, though my review merits the forewarning that it's one of my longer pieces. Possible spoilers along the way, unless you've already been inundated with coverage about the film, which has tended to speak pretty liberally about its structure and key scenarios. I like the film but couldn't quite love it; as engrossed as I was, I had qualms about the terms on which my fascination and even my sympathy were being elicited. I'll hope to be hearing from you in the Comments, even after the movie rolls out for its hugely hyped commercial release.
Precious played two dates at the Festival, including the Centerpiece Gala where Lee Daniels and Gabourey Sidibe won awards for artistic achievement. The film opens commercially in the U.S. on Fri, 11/6.