The movie “Precious,” based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire was named the best film of 2009 by the African American Film Critics Association. The film also won best director for Lee Daniels, supporting actress for Mo’Nique and screenplay for Geoffrey Fletcher.
One can only wonder what seems to be the problem then? Why is there so much drama brewing behind the scenes of just letting this movie be great?
The fact that “Precious” is the first African American film directed by a black film director to be nominated for an Oscar could play a role in all the madness. You think?
Insiders from the African-American Film Critics Association say Gabourey Sidibe, the star of “Precious,” was intentionally cheated out of a Best Actress citation at the AAFCA’s annual event Dec. 14.
Sidibe lost in the Best Actress category to Nicole Beharie, star of the little known and mostly unseen Samuel Goldwyn Company release, “American Violet.”
According to Roger Friedman of showbiz 411, Sidibe received eight first-place votes from the 16 critics who participated. Beharie got four first-place finishes, and the rest went to Anika Noni Rose (two votes) and one each for Helen Mirren and Zooey Deschanel. Among second-place finishers, Sidibe got five votes; Beharie got one.
Mo’Nique probably understands there’s a lot of monkey business surrounding these awards, and is said to have stepped on some toes with the New York Film Critics Circle by announcing that she would not attend its award ceremony in January.
According to The LA Times, Mo’Nique’s apparent snub suggests “that she wants to be paid to show up for these things,” as has been reported.
Other critics were more forgiving, though. “More snacks and drinks for us,” said Thelma Golden, of Us Weekly and a former chairwoman of the New York critics circle.
It doesn’t take much to realize that the remark made by those “forgiving” critics was a crack at Mo’Nique’s weight.
Meanwhile, director Lee Daniels is having his own crisis’ dealing with the film and what others have to say about it.
According to the LA Times again, Daniels got a little worked up during a recent visit to a local barbershop when he overheard a group of patrons talking trash.
“You’ve got to keep in mind, as a gay African American man, you’re going into testosterone city where they’re talking about everything,” says Daniels. “So this one guy’s in a chair at the end of the shop, he says, ‘Did you see that movie “Precious”? I got my bootleg copy. And I don’t know how they was depicting African Americans.’
Daniels found himself getting out of his chair, sweating, identifying himself and calling out his fellow patrons for criticizing the looks of his actresses and watching bootlegs rather than supporting black filmmakers.
“You probably have a mother, a sister, a cousin, a friend; you’re probably having sex with someone who looks like Precious. How dare you say that you want to see some skinny ta-ta with a weave and shakin’ her thing as opposed to the truth. What you’re basically saying is you’d like to see a white girl starring in the movie, or some version of what Hollywood thinks is fabulous. Sorry. No. Precious is fabulous. So it got to be this really deep debate about telling the truth.”
“It was the first time I realized that . . . it’s an issue. I guess when you tell the truth, it causes people to talk,” says Daniels.
Wow… just wow.