See the movie that’s getting all the early Oscar buzz

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (in theaters 11/6) should come with a warning label: The film is often so harrowing and heartbreaking that it can be hard to watch. But you should—thanks to amazing performances and its ultimately hopeful message, it is one of the more powerful and poignant films of the year.

Gabourey Sidibe plays Clareece “Precious” Jones, an overweight, illiterate teenager, pregnant by her father for a second time. She lives in horrific conditions, with an abusive mother (Mo’Nique), and is on the verge of expulsion when she’s given the chance to transfer to an alternative school. It is there, thanks to her teacher (Paula Patton), that she discovers new things about herself and about how to live her life. All the actors (including Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz) give great performances, but we’re guessing it will be Mo’Nique’s mind-blowing turn that you’ll be hearing the most about as we head into award season.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. See the movie that’s getting all the early Oscar buzz