The buzz around the new film “Precious” has been building since its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Screened under its original title “Push” (but later changed to “Precious” to avoid confusion with the sci-fi clunker of the same name), the film went on to capture the hearts of festival goers and critics alike, amassing two of the festival’s top jury prizes.
It was at Sundance where I first had a chance to speak with the film’s director Lee Daniels, who was gracious enough to give me an honest interview and use the charm that had been whispered about in the Sundance press office. We had an amazing chat about the prospects of the film and his experience in Park City with enamored fans and eager distributors. Daniels had come a long way since his directorial debut “Shadowboxer” and was ecstatic to see his new film embraced by the festival crowd.
Now with a distribution deal from Lionsgate and a public endorsement from Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey, “Precious” has slowly started to open in theatres around the country, building Oscar buzz wherever it goes. Daniels is a little cautious of the “O” word (Oscar, not Oprah) but welcomes the possibility of a little gold statue sitting on his desk someday.
It was on his recent press tour through San Francisco that I was able to reconnect with Daniels and two of the film’s stars Gabourey Sidibe and Paula Patton. Sidibe plays the titular character and Patton co-stars as a sympathetic teacher to troubled kids. All three interviews were recorded separately and with other journalists present so to better organize these chats, each subject has been given their own audio file so you can listen at your convenience. That way you can listen to Lee Daniels separately or Paula Patton if you prefer. Either way, all three interviews are well worth your time and are a great setup for “Precious,” a powerful film that has left its mark all the way from the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah.
“Precious” is now playing in limited release.