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Oscar winner ‘Precious’ on DVD

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Talk about good timing. Days after Lee Daniels’ raw “Precious” won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher), the heart wrenching drama arrives on DVD for those who couldn’t work up the courage to see it in theaters. (The film’s $47 million domestic take is solid, but not staggering.)

Mo’Nique riveted Academy members with her portrayal of Mary, the monstrous mother of title character Precious (Oscar nominee Gabby Sidibe, equally devastating). The two occupy an all-too-realistic urban environment pockmarked by poverty, illiteracy and, worst of all, incest. Precious’s father, seen in only in flashbacks, raped her multiple times, endowing her with two babies, to which Mary clings so the state will continue to provide welfare. But when Precious reaches her breaking point, a teacher (Paula Patton) and a social worker (Mariah Carey) dare to intervene.

A difficult sit, “Precious” earns its stripes with spectacular performances from fearless actors willing to embrace the pain and hurt in Fletcher’s script. He adapts the novel, “Push,” by street poet Sapphire, but turns it – with Daniels’ help – into a story we can relate to. And that might be the saddest part of all.

Lionsgate’s “Precious” DVD comes with an audio commentary track; featurettes on the adaptation and casting processes; conversations with Daniels and Sapphire; deleted scenes; Sidibe’s audition reel and more.

The movie – *** out of 4
The DVD – *** out of 4

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