Director Lee Daniels has put together an amazing cast. Who knew that Mo'Nique could give an Oscar-worthy performance as a psychotic abusive welfare momma? Who knew Mariah Carey could be so convincing as a cynical dowdy Brooklyn Jewish social worker? I walked out of the theater not believing it was her. Lenny Kravitz as a male nurse? A lot has been said on TV and in the press about the woman playing the title role, Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe. There is a lot of talent there, I hope we'll be seeing more of her in the future. Paula Patton as alternative school teacher Ms. Rains is a babe - she reminded me of Phylicia Rashad in The Cosby Show. Where has she been hiding?
There are a lot of small parts in this film, but no small actors. Everyone in the cast brought out as much of his/her character as there was to bring. That's the mark of a fine director. The film was shot on a budget, but the tech never gets in the way of the story. There are some minor editing mistakes, but they are on transitions which are just setting us up for the next scene. Makeup is so good it isn't even there. Costuming has its moments during the title character's fantasy sequences, and she gets to wear some great outfits. Queen Latifa would be proud.
The screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher is powerful, visual, articulate and real. Based on the novel Push by Sapphire.
Many of my friends will urge you to see the movie for nits powerful message, its overwhelming window into child abuse, incest, AIDS, the welfare culture, etc. I'll urge you to see it for wall to wall superb performances such as we have not seen on the screen for a long time.