Sunday, November 22, 2009
Perseverance is PRECIOUS and precious is PERSEVERANCE
I finally, actually got out of work kind of early on Friday. I thought to head downtown enroute to home and grab me a big cup of Pirate Radio.
TANGENT: I completely heart Richard Curtis. If he ever gets 'unpartnered,' someone please put my name in for the 'next up' lotto. Not only am I a suck for British men and redheads to boot; but I like his humor. He has an intimate sense of dealing with relationships on film. Of course, I also think he is a bloody genius. My favorite film is It's a Wonderful Life and Love, Actually is second. Now, I know what you're thinking it's the whole Christmas theme thing, but it is actually THE MESSAGE. Now, partly it is because as wonderful as dramatic film is, and some of my very dear friends are dramatic feature film makers (David R. Garrett). What I see as prolific in any accord on film can be reduced to what I think life is really is about: romance and comedy, simply: a romantic comedy. As is my contention, and as David will attest to me proclaiming, "All movies are about love."
As luck would have it, there was no Pirate Radio playing on 14th Street, but the universe put me at the right place and time to check out Precious. And so I did.
And there is definitely love in PRECIOUS.
I will first preface this by saying that I DID NOT READ THE BOOK. And DO NOT have any plans to AT THIS TIME.
In general, I thought the film was very good. I like a couple of Daniel's tactics in his sequencing in a few scenes.
Now I am sure people are wondering how 'fat friendly' is it? It isn't, but it isn't unfriendly either. The character is what she is: a victim. Until she finds that love comes in many forms, and she found it in herself, her teacher and classmates, people that she meets along her life journey, education, and in hope.
I think that Gabby Sidibe did a fabulous job! I think more importantly that the fact Lee Daniels chose this particular novel with a fat heroine is one step in the right direction for Hollywood and film makers.
I don't want to ruin it for those of you haven't seen it, and are planning to. I do recommend it--so get your fine self to the theatre!
The only thing that yanked my crank was, get this, the styling of Gabby/Precious in the daydream sequences. These sequences are done in that she is thinking herself as a 'star' from dancing with 'her light skinned boyfriend' to walking the red carpet. There are a few scenes, and I might be able to recall them all, but I will share what I remember and why is bothered me. I will only talk about what she is wearing, not why she is thinking of it. If you don't want to read further go to the bold lettering marked RIGHT HERE.
First off, when she is 'in character' I found the style and clothes chosen to be a proper fit for the character and setting. And I liked that no matter her size, the character always seemed to do her hair and make-up. That shows self-pride and self-respect, combating the stereotype that we have neither.
The first is when she is in a modeling sequence and wearing what looks like a trench coat or jacket that is black with white polka dots. Now, I know that polka dots are in right now.....? (Are they? Honestly, I have no idea.) I also think as big women we should wear what we want to. But, as I type that I hear words with the thick Brooklyn accents of my friends Vita and Marianne saying, "Every big girl needs two things: a full length mirror and a best friend."
Back to the polka dots. They weren't bad, they weren't good. Kinda like purgatory. I didn't think they flattered her figure particularly; it seemed to confine it.
Next. Dancing 'with the light skinned boyfriend'(could have been a taller dude--my opinion with a director's eye, which would have been biased to better frame her) on a raised stage. She is wearing what seems to be a silk black nighty that translates as black silk moo moo like poncho with a feathered edge and a scarf. When she turns to the side you can see her figure and curves, wearing some type of 'undergarments' that look way more interesting. Why couldn't she have worn those and the scarf?!
When I saw this scene I did feel frustrated because immediately to mind instead of seeing 'great new actress in a new film and a step in the right direction for size diversity in Hollywood' what I saw was : 'Wow, change music and it looks like a Weather Girls video." WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY FROM THE MOO MOO WITH THE BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS TO PROVE IT.
Now, in looking back at pictures of the Weather Girls, who, in 1982 seemed 'huge' to me, don't even "look that big" whatever that means. I think because I recall the fact that 'hiding their assets' was customary 'back then.' What bothered me is that they didn't show Gabby's curves. They were hidden.
And the third sequence that I seem to remember was when Precious was walking the red carpet. She wore a seemed to be long sleeve (? maybe three quarter length?)red velvetesque floor-length gown with a leopard collar. Again, not that it was a 'bad dress'--and I understand they wanted something 'over the top', but it hid her curves, and, once again as it wasn't form fitting. Hey look, you cast a 350 pound actress to portray a 350 pound character. Good. Awesome. And a beautiful woman, to boot. Would it have killed you to show her curves, too? If it was supposed to be a sequence where she was dreaming to 'be' the 'it' girl---then don't hide her under cloth--show her off in her entirety, in her beautiful curves, and every roll of her 350 pound frame--which, bless her, she wears very well, has a good feeling about herself, and is proud of her body. All I am saying is, show the curves, man. Show the curves.
RIGHT HERE in Precious is where you can see the curvy-liscious Ms. Erica Faye Watson with a minor role, but splendidly done. GO ERICA! Well done, lady! My very best congratulations. A good person, hard-working, talented, smart, and damn funny! Worth mentioning is the priceless look on the face of Sherri Shepard's character, the school secretary when Precious introduces her to Lenny Kravitz. Who wouldn't put the phone down!?!
So what about perseverance and Precious? Well, it is perseverance that gets the character through the horrific events that make up her life. It is perseverance that is precious as you cannot give up, no matter what. Do you hear me, Sir Winston?
Further, it is Precious who is the embodiment of perseverance to live her life, continuing to get an education and making future plans despite the obstacles she had to jump, break-through, and keep charging ahead. Weight was only one of her problems, and in my opinion one of the last ones on her plate (pardon the pun)considering all with which she had to deal, decipher, and dare to dream.
And this film is the emBODYment of the fact that weight should not weigh you down.
FAT GIRLS FLOAT.
New York City