Monday, 1 February 2010


I have previously mentioned that I often enjoy rather sickly films and preferably British. I am one of the hapless masses, the sheep who need to be fed their silage and enjoy a blindingly blissful existence amongst the general ignorance. My fur is of good quality, my brain - merely fur. In a sudden bout of proactivity, and with a push from a friend, I made it to the cinema. The Vue in Leicester Square, no less. Luckily this friend also has a certain penchant for wine, so we headed for the bar to try our luck with the white wine. And it was warm.

Warm white wine; unimaginable pain. It must somehow allow the alcohol to be absorbed quicker, which was frankly no bad thing considering the circumstances. I hadn't gone to the cinema for a delightful Hollywood romp, but rather its American antithesis: the grittiness of suburban New York City.

Precious is a film I'm sure most people have by now come across in some form or other. Preparing myself for the possibility of public weeping, I tried to forget all the details about the film the reviewers had fed me, all their opinions and most importantly, how terribly painful the warm wine was. Sitting down, obscuring others' views and trying to eradicate my prejudices against obese people, I watched. The film was amusing, charming, delightful, horrifying, devastating, crushing, hopeful, scandalising, tormenting and wonderful. I didn't cry, for I cannot. Tears do not flow so easily for me, but my body ached with the agonising struggle endured by this remarkable protagonist. My bones wept on a level of empathy I have never known.

Perhaps it is in light of some of the tragedies and horror stories that have emerged in recent years that make this film seem all the more real. The frequency of such dreadful tales can often have a numbing quality, much like Holocaust survivors who numbed themselves to the pain surrounding them in order to survive. The "physical and spiritual degradation of mankind in the industrialised world" is as evident today as it was in Lady Chatterley's world. However for me, the horror was not numbed, the pain did not abate. Punctuated by brilliant comedy so heightened amidst the gloominess, I loved it. It even challenged me to question how I view individual obesity, no mean feat.

These films reveal so much about ourselves. Our preconceptions, our selfishness, our isolation, our luck. How lucky I was to be born into a home where I was loved, how wonderfully lucky I was to be encouraged to read, to write, to learn, to try as much as possible, to be told I could achieve anything to which I set my mind. I am forever telling myself to be thankful. Well, quite often I am at least. And now I shall redouble my efforts to take time to appreciate being. It doesn't last forever.

I did scrutinize one aspect of said film. I have never been a fan of Ms Mariah Carey and her utterly awful warbling/shrieking. And I don't believe her last foray into film was successful, so with breath a-baited, I waited. And do you know, she wasn't terrible. "Uglied" to the point of normality, she looked the part. Ish. But the voice... Frightfully husky, the sort of thing a self-proclaimed "serious actor" would come up with and it did grate. I tried to forget who it was onscreen, but the eyes of a diva don't lie. A surprise was Lenny Kravtitz, a man I had assumed dead. Very touching portrayal of "Nursing Assistant". A position one never knew existed and seems on a similar level to "Community Support Officer".
If you enjoy cinema on any level, seek something a little more real than the latest blockbuster filth and are capable of empathy, see this film.


  1. Thank you, Lewis, for showing us how the veils come down.
    Yours for films,

  2. Brrrr, warm white wine makes you whine. (One probably needs to have English as a 2nd language to come up with pathetic rhyming like this). Great synopsis, though I don't know if I will watch the film - a bit too harsh for me. But I also heard friendly words about Mariah C.

  3. Hahaha I love the rhyme! Any pun will win me over, truthfully. I'm a child at heart.

  4. Wonderfully insightful (and funny) as always- shall trot forthwith, but perhaps minus the warm white?! xx Bisou

  5. feel your pain about the warm white *shudders*

    Very interesting you enjoyed Prescious so much. I quite like an earnest film on my day and have a big collection of war films but something about just how painful this sounds had been putting me off- perhaps I will give it a try because I want it to be as good as people are saying.

    I have read that they use fantasy sequences when really terrible things happen to this girl- do they work?

  6. I too drank warm wine to this film. Big mistake as couldn't quite make it to the end without needing a loo trip so missed the last five minutes. I MISSED THE LAST FIVE MINUTES. I made it through all that and ran back in to see the credits roll. I've heard it was a fabulous ending.

  7. After reading that I am definitely going to see this film. I'll opt for warm red... I love your blog, I can't believe I've only just discovered you! x