In the title role, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe makes her acting debut, but you'd never know it. She owns the role and all the complicated emotions that go with it.
Her performance as a broken teenager trying to put her life together is unforgettable and likely to be noticed during the awards season. But she won't be alone.
Mo'Nique, who's spent her career making us laugh, makes a major dramatic impression here as Precious' horrible mother.
She makes "Mommie Dearest" look like Suzy Homemaker in a performance that feels so hate-filled and so realistic, I can't imagine where she might have dug to bring out so much rage. She cares more about her welfare than the welfare of her daughter.
Precious finds herself in a new school with a teacher, played superbly by Paula Patton, who truly cares about her.
You see the power of education at work. And as Precious' life becomes more complicated, there is warmth from Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse.
"Precious" is a heavy film, but there are moments that will have you smiling and probably laughing. It's powerful, it's sometimes very uncomfortable, but it's a strong movie and I highly recommend you see it.