Sunday, November 8, 2009

Being Inspired by Others

"They tried to paint the picture that I was this downtrodden ugly girl who was unpopular in school and life and then I got this role and now I’m awesome. But the truth is that I’ve been awesome then I got this role."

-- Gabourey Sidibe

This quote is by the budding new actress of the movie, "Precious." This young actress exudes confidence which I'm sure was not always easy for her. It was undoubtedly difficult being an obese teen. In another quote Gabourey gives additional words or wisdom.

"[W]hen I was 14 or 15, I saw myself in a different way. Back then, I envied a life that I’d made up in my mind. I broke free of that unhappiness and I decided to change—I was going to be happy with myself. No matter what I look like, no matter what people think."

Watching the conversation below with this young actress, I was moved by the movie's storyline which speaks of hope in extremely difficult situations and was inspired by this young lady's apparent acting ability and confidence. I think you might be inspired too.



The movie is based on the novel, Push by Sapphire. It's about "an obese and illiterate teen who is pregnant for a second time by her own father. Set in Harlem in 1987, the story follows Precious as she struggles with her insecurities and disastrous home life while using what resources she has to improve her life."

Precious "won three awards at the Sundance Film Festival, including the coveted Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, and received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year." I happened upon it online and I will go and see it.

Here is the trailer:



What do you think of her? I think she's "Precious."

12 comments:

Marion said...

I think she's a strong, confident, talented young woman. I'd love to know more about her family life and how she came to be such a strong person. I'll probably wait to see the movie when it comes out on DVD because I know I'll be crying my eyes out. I'm eager to read the book, too. Great post, Judith! Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

Marion - I think you will very much enjoy the book. I read it many years ago, probably when it came out. Here is Sapphire being interviewed by Katie Couric. I wonder if the movie title was changed from the book title from "Push" to "Precious" in order to make the character even more sympathetic. While someone in this situation may be strong, we may not necessarily be sympathetic to their plight, especially an obese young 16 year-old-girl who has been abused and is fighting for survival. We often turn our heads. This is happening in cities all over America and throughout the world. If we recognize that they are precious to us and in the sight of God, maybe we will seek to help them, even if only by a look of kindness, a gentle smile. This matters. Peace and love to you...

Dave Wheeler said...

Auntie "J",

What an exceptional story and message. In my current job I work with many who have overcome "Precious"-like circumstances in their lives who soldier on daily to make life better for themselves and children. You are so correct about all of us can play a role in helping them with things as simple as a "hello" or smile.

Great story...thanks for sharing this!

CathM said...

Judith, thanks for sharing this. I feel inspired to read the book and even watch the movie if it ever airs in the UK. Gabby is a very strong anf inspirational woman.

Judith Ellis said...

Dave - As you know, I so appreciate the work you began to help single working mothers. I'm sure the work you do at work helps these too. Many blessings, my friend.

Judith Ellis said...

My pleasure, Catherine. It's good to see you. It's been a while. Yes, do pick up the book it's a good read and I'm sure the movie will get to England via the cinema or DVD. I have not as of yet seen the movie. But I will for sure. I will probably be "crying my eyes out" like Marion. My love I send to you. I hope all is well too.

Brosreview said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am constantly in search of such hard-hitting movies! This definitely looks "precious"!

Judith Ellis said...

Hey, Ajey! I'm happy to do it. Hope all is well for you.

septembermom said...

Applaud Gabby for pushing herself through such difficult circumstances to fly with her dreams. Thank you Judith for sharing this story with us. I want to read this book!

Judith Ellis said...

It's my pleasure, Kelly. I think you will also enjoy the book. Love to you, friend.

Bob Foster said...

Judith – It appears that Gabourey Sidibe is a talented young woman who is already creating Oscar buzz, as is the film itself. But, there is also another camp that does not seem too happy with the film.

Raina Kelly wrote a short article in this week’s issue of “Newsweek” dealing with the underlying story that is not being talked about. Here is a short clip from her article: “…while the film is set in 1987, no one seems outraged that so little has changed in the inner city in the more than 20 years since. ‘Precious’ is a period piece that feels like a documentary.”

I have a lot of respect for Raina Kelly’s journalism and I recommend reading her article. You can find it on newsweek.com then scroll down to Raina’s name.

I also want to thank you for reminding us that we can make a difference in peoples lives with just a kind look and a gentle smile. All too often we get so caught up in our own daily activities that we forget there are other people out there who need even a drop of human kindness. Thanks for that reminder.

Judith Ellis said...

Thank you very much for your comment, Bob. I shall without doubt check out the work of Raina Kelly. I agree with the analysis of the documentary aspect of the clips that I have seen. This is what makes the story so powerful, not to mention that we really do know deep inside that such is happening all over our nation and indeed the world. We must change this community by community, state by state throughout the entire nation and indeed the world. Small things matter along with organized effort.

While we are talking here about Precious' particular situation, the reality is that we ALL need a kind word and a gentle smile. On any given day the world can strike a blow to us or be quite disappointing in both our personal and professonal lives and a kind word and gentle smile can make all the difference. I've been the recipient of such and consciously seek to give in this way every single day of my life. Our living is not for us alone.