Starring: Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey

With a storyline featuring incest, psychological abuse, obesity and Aids, Precious is one of the most difficult films you’ll sit through this year.

Persevere though, and Lee Daniels’ drama will blow your mind, thanks to some extraordinary performances.

Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe leads the way as Precious, an overweight, illiterate teen who is raped by her father and abused by her mother (Mo’Nique).

Pregnant with her second child, she is suspended from school and transferred to a teaching facility that deals with problematic pupils.

There, Precious slowly comes out of her shell.

By combining a bleak backdrop (the teenager’s home is a hell-hole) with colourful, vibrant scenes that show us what Precious is fantasising about to escape her life, Daniels has crafted a film that is both shocking and uplifting.

Sidibe is utterly convincing as the troubled teen, and she receives pitch perfect support from Mo’Nique and Mariah Carey (no really), who plays a social worker.

Profoundly moving and hugely original, Precious is a celebration of the human spirit, which will stay with you for a long time.

Good for: Those who can handle distressing scenes.

Pierre De Villiers