Esteemed critic Jack Mathews, a guy who’s been around the block and acquired a little perspective, said the following about Precious in a 12.10 discussion with Indiewire‘s Anne Thompson:

“If the Academy hadn’t just doubled the number of Best Picture nominees from 5 to 10 this year, we wouldn’t be talking about Precious as an Oscar contender now. In fact, if director Lee Daniels had cleaned up the language a bit and eliminated an unnecessary rape clip, Precious might have found its natural home [on the tube] and we’d be talking about its rightful fate of an Emmy winner.

“I am not convinced that Precious will make the Best Picture ballot. Most of the 6,000-plus Academy voters watch the contenders — selected for them by critics, guild nominations and box office results — at home. And as a person who saw this movie in a theater with six people, watching it alone is not easy.

“I don’t think Lee Daniels will receive a Directors Guild nomination; directors aren’t easily swayed by emotion and the ugly truth is that Precious is an awkwardly-directed film. The fantasy sequences are almost embarrassingly inept.

“I do believe Mo’Nique is a slam dunk supporting actress nominee — what she does in speaking her dialogue is more humiliating than what Halle Berry did going-for-broke in Monster’s Ball — but those who vote the novice Sidibe are voting for her character more than her performance.”