Precious (Gabourey Sidibe), illiterate and obese, leads a hopeless life in 1980s Harlem under the thumb of her utterly vile mother (Mo’Nique). Precious, 16, is suspended from school when found to be pregnant for the second time, but gets a place in an alternative education programme. There she discovers both self-respect and true friends among her misfit classmates. Despite characters that divide a little too neatly into saints or devils, this is a compelling morality tale about giving second chances to people we might otherwise write off. The cast is great – and don’t worry, there are lighter moments among the grit. 8/10


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