I was negligent in waiting so many years to finally watch this film. I had heard an interview with Ms. Sibide on NPR a long time ago and was intrigued by the story. After watching it tonight, I must say that I haven't been moved so much by a movie in a long time.
Yes, it is difficult to watch, and there are many points where I wondered how much worse her situation could get or how much more I could take. I found myself screaming in anger a couple of times during the confrontations with her mother, then agonizing over her situation in the last scene. It is very seldom that a movie can elicit such extreme emotions from me, but this one did, and brilliantly so.
The style of this movie is gritty and realistic with believable characters who actually make you care about them, despite the initial revulsion you might feel towards them. The situation of Precious is something you might read about in some Greek tragedy or Medieval morality play. The knowledge that is takes place in the present only adds to the weight of emotions that it brought about in me while I watched it.
Whatever you might feel about Precious, her life, or her ability to pull herself out of the hell from which she came, you cannot watch this movie without wondering how, and why, we as a society haven't done more to prevent these circumstances from existing in the first place.