In review: Oscar nominees

Precious
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2009
3.5/4

Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Precious is a must see movie for anyone who wants perspective on their own lives, and is most definitely worthy of the Oscar nomination it has received.

In her breakout role, Gabourey Sidibe delivers an outstanding performance as Precious, an overweight and abused child.

Mo’Nique, who plays her violent and confused mother, also merits more than a mention.

The plot follows her journey into the hopes of finding a better life and a future with the help of educational assistants and counselors.

With an abusive mom, two illegitimate children – fathered by none other than her own father – Precious is a heart-wrenching and raw story that will be remembered .

In the hour and 50 minutes of runtime, you will be pulled into the life of a girl who is just trying to make it on her own, and you will be offered a reason to watch the Oscars and hope that Precious takes away the awards.

–Meaghan Walford

An Education
Directed by: Lone Scherfig
Starring: Carey Mulligan and Peter Sarsgaard
Release date: Sept. 30, 2009
3/4

After premiering at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals, this small English production has made quite the impression, gaining critical acclaim and attention.

Based on the memoirs of British journalist Lynn Barber, the film centers around Jenny Miller (Carey Mulligan), a smart, determinant, and feisty 16-year-old.

Desperately wanting more than what her fellow 1960s peers and elders expect of a female, everything changes after meeting the much older and charming David Goldman (Peter Sarsgaard); so charming in fact, he wins over her protective parents.

Thus begins a mystifying love affair. With a taste of this glamorized version of life, the impressionable Jenny falls in love.

The viewer relates themselves to Jenny and supports her through the high and lows of dramatic year.

The fantastic leads and excellent supporting cast made up of Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Emma Thompson, and Olivia Williams, all exemplify the divers and conflicting personalities of the time.
–Elise Cotter

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