The Reel Geezers — those reliable indicators of smart retirement-age Academy sentiments about current films — are back in action on Indiewire. And as you might expect, they’ve totally rolled over for Precious. Like cocker spaniel puppies with their tongues and tails wagging. The screenplay is “superb,” says Marcia Nasatir, and Lorenzo Semple, Jr. agrees. (God!) This is why Precious is going to be Best Picture nominated — i.e., people and opinions like these.
“Not the usual ‘hood movie, no men in it…no violence,” says Semple. What? Precious is one of the most emotionally violent films I’ve ever seen — that anyone’s ever seen. For me, what happens between Mo’Nique and Gabby in that film is the emotional equivalent of that baseball-bat execution scene in Casino.
“The two social workers and a teacher are almost too good,” Semple continues. “How do you pronounce Mariah Carey‘s name? And then there’s the brilliant, brilliant Mo’Nique…not since Joan Crawford …she is a bad mom.”
“A monster mom,” Nasatir echoes. “And then comes the scene when she explains herself, and I found myself literally gasping at this information.”
Gasping at what exactly? At the notion that director Lee Daniels may be expecting audiences to extend a measure of sympathy to Mo’Nique’s character because of her pathetic “what about me?” explanation? Or that there are actually mothers out there who are capable of treating their daughters this way?
There are two questions that the Geezers never raise or answer. Would they go to see Precious a second time? And if so, why?
Nasatir then says, “They also show a clip from Two Women, the marvellous Anna Magnani movie.” She’s confusing Two Women, a 1960 Vittorio DeSica film, with Rossellini’s Open City (’45). Two Women costarred Sophia Loren, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Eleonora Brown and Raf Vallone.