Archive for March 18, 2010

Precious Thoughts, Part II

A few months ago, I spoke of my longing to see the movie, Precious. I was right — the movie didn’t come to any theaters even near Jamestown.  But, just the other day I was able to rent the movie, and I was not disappointed.  Not at all.  In fact, I think that the movie was one of the better novel adaptations I have ever seen.  Yes, it is true that the movie did tone down the language and the violence.  It’s also true that the movie does play into certain stereotypes that may make many people uncomfortable.  But I thought the performances were the best — including Mo’Nique’s role at the main character’s mother, who is cruel, but somehow (at least in my mind) comes off as a bit sympathetic.  Has anyone else seen this movie?  What did you think of Mariah Carey?  Did you even recognize her?  As for the ending scene — I was not startled by the content because I read Push, but I bet that people who have not read Sapphire’s novel were a bit shocked.

What I really liked about the movie (besides the main character’s resilience) was the depiction of teachers and social workers caught up in trying to help the many, many victims of poverty.  As a whole, I believe that this nation is very hard on both people who work in social services and teachers in public education, and most people really don’t realize how noble these positions are — and they are jobs with many, many disappointments and little to celebrate. 

My viewing leads me back to whether or not I will ever teach Push again.  The answer is yes — and I don’t want to focus on just the main character, but also the other roles in the novel and the movie.   I want to go back and read Push again through new eyes and think about all the supporting parts.