Precious Is Up for 6 Oscars. Could Gay Director Lee Daniels’ Movie Win Them All?

With the exception of Tom Ford’s A Serious Man (nominated for Best Picture), today’s Oscar nominations have us focused almost entirely on gay director Lee Daniels’ moving picture Precious, which is up for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Gabourey Sidibe), Best Supporting Actress (Mo’Nique), Best Adapted Screenplay (Geoffrey Fletcher), and Best Film Editing (Joe Klotz). That’s six nominations. And come March 7, the film could very well win them all.

Best Picture. It’s up against The Hurt Locker and Up In The Air, sure, but we expect Academy voters to shun the blockbuster fare of Avatar in favor of 2009’s most buzzworthy film. A vote for Precious is a vote against domestic violence, or so its producers are hoping everyone believes. The film stars blockbuster names (Mariah Carey, Mo’Nique), but not blockbuster attitudes. It didn’t just move theatergoers to discuss the film, it created a dialogue. And because of its commercial success, a vote for Precious doesn’t just reward a picture that moved people, but rewards a picture that did so while propping up the industry.

Best Director. Besides an endorsement from Oprah, director Lee Daniels is not on an uphill battle. He’s the odds-on favorite. His competition is not Inglourious Basterds‘ Quentin Tarantino, but The Hurt Locker‘s Kathryn Bigelow. Daniels’ telling of a sexually abused and forgotten teenage girl, who achieves small triumphs along the way, is a story more human than other of the other contenders. That doesn’t make it Oscar bait, but Daniels’ so-far humble acceptance of the industry’s lauding will go a long way.

Best Actress. A twentysomething nobody in the industry, Gabourey Sidibe’s skyrocketed to muted fame, thanks to her daring portrayal of Precious‘s title character. She is not a Hollywood player — but she faces stiff competition from the very well-received efforts of Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep, a critic darling. A win for Sidibe would be the Academy’s way of solidifying Precious as 2009’s ultimate movie of the year. A snub, however, would mean only that voters were absolutely wowed with Bullock’s ability to go from Miss Congeniality to, well, awesome.

Best Supporting Actress. There’s been no formal Oscar campaign for Mo’Nique, a decision about as purposeful as campaigning for an Oscar. She has not vocalized any desire to win trophies, although she’s been handsomely rewarded at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. Utterly transformed in her role as an abusive, love-starved mother, Mo’Nique helped carry Precious as much as its star. And she “gives good speech,” a remarkably powerful criteria for choosing winners.

Best Adapted Screenplay. Whether or not Academy voters read the book — 1996’s Push — that inspired the film, awarding screenwriter Fletcher the Oscar for transforming Sapphire’s novel into a big screen production will have only one downside: snubbing In The Loop‘s amazingly talented writers. But if Precious is destined to win Best Picture and turn Daniels into a Best Director winner, we find it hard to believe the Academy would not also reward the man responsible for Precious’ inner dialogue.

Best Film Editing. If you enjoyed the mindfuck animated montages on Precious (we didn’t), then you’ll understand why the Oscar could go to editor Joe Klotz. But he faces a huge battle against Avatar‘s Team Cameron, and this is the one award Precious stands a good chance of losing.s

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  • afrolito

    Do you people do any fact checking??

    A Serious Man is NOT directed by Tom Ford. It’s a Joel and Ethan Coen film. Tom Ford directed A Single Man, which was NOT nominated for best picture.

  • Dionte

    Why does Monique look like she is about to slap Mariah? lol

  • emb

    Oh honies, it’s “Brokeback” all over again: Just because a movie has a gay director or a gay theme doesn’t mean it’s the very bestest thing ever and we all have to root for it and if if doesn’t win it’s a slap in the face of filmloving homos everywhere. “PreciousBasedOnTheNovelPushBySapphire” may be a fine movie (or it may be a manipulative, button-pushing parade of horribles), but don’t make me feel all homophobic if I don’t care whether or not it wins.

  • James

    “PreciousBasedOnTheNovelPushBySapphire” will probably win only one Oscar, for Mo’nique. Maybe adapted screenplay also. And I have one question – who the hell is Sapphire, and how did she have enough contractual pull to get her name in the title?

    Good for Lee Daniels, but he won’t win. It’s Kathryn Bigelow’s turn for “Hurt Locker,” or James Cameron (how wild that they used to be married). “Avatar” is an astounding technical achievement and Cameron is some kind of moviemaking genius. You can’t argue with someone directing the 2 most popular movies in history – this, and “Titanic.”

    Picture will go to either “Avatar” or “The Hurt Locker,” with the latter having the edge as it’s the “serious” one.

    Actor will be Jeff Bridges. It’s his long overdue turn. Actress will be Sandra Bullock – also her turn, although Meryl Streep could do it again. Gabourey Sidibe was great, but she’s never acted before. Then again, neither had Jennifer Hudson, and she won. But she had that song to sing, which wins an award for everyone who ever sings it.

    Supporting will go to Mo’nique and Christoph Waltz, you could bet a year’s salary on those 2.

    Although, if it were up to me, I’d give the best picture to “District 9.” I thought that was astounding.

    And Sam Worthington of “Avatar” should win some kind of Oscar for “hottest guy ever in a wheelchair.”

  • dontblamemeivotedforhillary

    Big mistake on that one, Queerty. Back on the crystal-meth, cable cut off? You’ve missed a few stories like “Homophobia in workplace expose on Air Marshals” CBS 6pm News, 2.1.10, Harold Ford Jr on The Colbert Report and the debut of RuPaul’s Drag Race (which is ALL about racism – you’re favorite topic!) Come on, fire the Editor!

    Meanwhile: Lee Daniels is amazing as director of Precious with a very promising future but Kathryn Bigelow will win as the first ever woman to actually win for The Hurt Locker which is gathering steam though James Cameron’s check may have cleared (snicker) and he could quite possibly sink the Titanic into the Kodak Theatre…. If Bigelow wins, The Hurt Locker may then win Best Film over the more dated, Up In The Air (because no-one has a job in the first place!) with Avatar just getting the privilege of being mentioned with real-content films. I actually liked the reboot of Star Trek but know that will not get serious attention because of it’s genre (at least it’s not a musical failure like Nine) Best actress is a battle between the Queen and the Comeback Queen and I give it to Sandra Bullock (as some argue quite so that Meryl was better in ‘It’s Complicated’) Sorry, Gaby (and why feature that devilish pic on this website, Queerty – if not for the reason to influence lost gay Oscar ballot-casting blog-surfers who are too lazy to watch the actual films?) Mo’Nique will win Best Supporting Actress or there will be riots in cities across America so I would not vote against history and the also-nominated in that category should wear comfortable shoes. Best Adapted Screenplay will go to In The Loop as The Academy like to spread the love around. The White Ribbon will also win for Best Foreign Film as the kinder side of Germans at the outset of Hitler’s invasion of Poland are being depicted in some very clever and nuanced films (Including the Boy with the Striped Pyjamas) rather than the comic-book like Tarantino’s childish script but stand-out performance by Best Supporting Actor; Christoph Waltz who stole the movie as a funny Nazi. Best Film Editing will go to Avatar or James Cameron will turn into one of his CGI monsters! Precious will enjoy a Box-Office surge as a result of the Oscars and Mo’Nique may need to switch to one of the major Networks with her Prime-time show; The Mo’Nique Show (knocking out low rating Wanda Sykes at least) though I wish it was Jay Leno!!!!

    The dresses will be fabulous and the entertainment show presenters will be closeted gay men and bulimic women. Welcome to Tinseltown – Now barf bitches!

  • Breaking Up With Queerty

    Ok, today was the last straw with Queerty.

    I have been reading for awhile now, and the quality of the writing has gotten progressively worse (does anyone on your staff have and English degree, or speak it as their first language?). I keep trying to give the site the benefit of the doubt, but truthfully, there are so many BETTER gay news websites out there. Towleroad, JoeMyGod, Americablog…just to name a few.

    But this is really the end. Guys, what person did not fact check that “A Serious Man” is the Coen movie, and that Tom Ford directed “A Single Man”? This is especially interesting, because when the movie cam out you had several postings villifying it. One would think that you could manage to remember something a bit longer than two months.

    Not to be stereotypical myself, but as a commuity, we are SUPPOSED to know these things. And when our career (such as your short-lived stints are), is based on reporting this enformation…..

    I can so no more.

    Good bye.

  • The Artist

    @Dionte: Cuz she’s an angry black woman!;-)

  • Exe

    Man, this website is ridiculous. I have refrained from posting for ages, but now I just can’t help myself. There are so many articles, especially those of a political nature, that try and vilify everything possible. This article, on the other hand, is just completely delusional.

    I love Precious. It is my favorite movie of 2009, tied with Up in the Air. There is a very, very, VERY slim chance that it will win anything other than an award for Mo’Nique, however. I’m pulling for Gabby to win too, but I know that’s just a pipe dream.

    And like someone else noted, your fact checkers — if they even exist — are piss poor.

  • Adam

    Guys. Mo’Nique will win. Nothing else.

    PICTURE: Hurt Locker or Avatar, with Hurt Locker gaining steam. The only threat to those two is dark horse Basterds, but I’d put my money on Hurt Locker.

    DIRECTOR: Bigelow, almost surely.

    ACTRESS: Meryl or Sandra. I pray it’s Meryl.

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Might be Up in the Air’s only win of the night.

    FILM EDITING: Seriously??? The “one” award it stands a good chance of losing?

    The Academy likes to spread the love in non-Return-of-the-King type years. Precious will get its one: Mo’Nique.

  • Cara

    I’d like to say my money’s on Hurt Locker, but that’s wishful thinking. I’m sure the juggernaut that is Avatar will wreak devastation on Bigelow and Precious as well. What else is new?

    At least there’s some variety this year beside old white men in every category. Maybe this year will be different…but i doubt it.

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