Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

1. Mo'nique as Mary Jones in Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire

In this virtually all-female saga of an illiterate, abused, grossly fat teenager who finds salvation through schooling, many actresses stand out. Applause, please, for Gabourey Sidibe in the title role; for Mariah Carey as a skeptical social worker; and for Paula Patton as the idealization of all teachers who give their time, their passion and above all their hope to poor kids. But all must bow, or cringe, before the explosion of malice, cunning and finally self-pity that Mo'nique triggers as Precious's brutal mom. A stand-up comedian by trade, Mo'nique commands the screen even in those infrequent moments when her character's not doing something awful. In the court of movie opinion, a judge might wonder what sentence such a deplorable, obscene, eye-magnetizing monster deserves? Maybe "And the Oscar goes to... Mo'nique."