It’s the Starz Denver Film Festival week, and our company Vuka is sponsoring a theatre. Yep, we have our very own theatre, and cool lanyards that say “Sponsor” on them, which make me feel like a recovering alcoholic. We get to do cool things like hang out in the Filmmakers Lounge (my favorite place) and if we were so inclined, the much coveted Late Night Lounge, where I hear the Vuka cocktails are flowing.
We also got to attend Opening Night, and the premiere of the movie Precious. There’s been a lot of buzz about this film. Mutterings of Oscar worthy performances and breakthrough newcomers. And of course the harrowing storyline. And the cool factor of it being based on a book by a person with only one name, Sapphire. The director Lee Daniels is appropriately a little wacky, and of course the producers are from Denver, which loops in a nice local story.
I was insanely excited to be going to a film premiere. I was decked out in my stunning little sequined Kate Moss by Top Shop dress (who are you wearing!), artfully styled by Robyn from a perch on her stool in NYC, and make-up less deftly done by the wannabe operetta singer at the Chanel counter at Nordstroms. Two elaborate shoe shopping trips, the second orchestrated by my other fabulous stylist Teddi, yielded a grand sum of two pairs of patent stiletto shoes, neither of which I could walk in without tottering like a drunkard, and a delightful 80’s clutch that gave my outfit the perfect rock n’ roll finish, apparently. The 17 year old shop assistant at Aldos taught me how to walk the red carpet (apparently sideways) and pose if needed. It was a lesson I’ll keep with me always.
My date for the evening was the lovely Meredith Bradford, our talented Publicist. Darian wouldn’t come to the movie with me: it wasn’t a slapstick comedy, WW2 documentary or aviation journal, and he was less enthralled by the idea of an after party. Our friends at the Kempe Foundation were hosting the evening. They deal with child abuse, so it was a good fit for the theme of the film. There was a blue carpet instead of a red one, and our dear friend Sandi got seats for us that were so close to the screen that when that Mo’nique gave her first yell, I was flung backwards into my seat.
We got to hear Lee Daniels talk about the movie, and introduce producers Sarah and Gary Magness. Their family has given their name to an arena, or an amphitheatre or other large structure, and they obviously have oodles of money. Her parents started Celestial Seasonings, and his, that little shop called AT&T. You get the picture. Sarah is very pretty and very polished, and was wearing the most enviable pair of Leboutins. They were really high and she walked in them without tottering. I was very impressed. Her diamond tennis bracelet could sufficiently fund another movie. Her dress was a little too short, but her husband was sporting the most dashing moustache, and didn’t say anything, but went bright red when Lee Daniels thanked them for their oodles of money. Please understand that I’m jealous, not scathing.
Flying back from NYC a few weeks earlier, I had seen the trailer for Precious on the plane and could barely contain my sobs. There was a big baseball game on, so when I let out a howl, I mouthed the words, “Go Yankees” as a cover. Armed with this knowledge, I carefully packed two kleenex into my 1980’s clutch, and had to hand one to Meredith after the opening speeches which left the bottom lip quivering already.
Precious didn’t disappoint. It was harrowing, and horrifying and unbelievable. Without giving too much away: the worst things that could ever happen to a person, happened to that girl. After the movie, Lee Daniels spoke about casting Precious, and how they toured gas stations and Burger Kings, looking for a real life Precious. Some of the girls couldn’t read. Some couldn’t speak. Gabrielle Sidibe came in for an audition, a trained actress, and nailed the role. The she started talking to Daniels in a typical “Valley” accent, which blew his mind. If this is really the case, she is phenomenal. If that character was an act, she really does deserve and Oscar more than Halle Berry.
Go and see the movie. Everyone should at least once. And when you’re done, give me your opinion on the following:
– what was with Mariah Carey’s moustache? Was that fake? Was it paying homage to Gary Magness?
– did they need the dream sequences? Or at least was the style effective?
– same for the red scarf at the beginning. It was a little Schindler’s List for me
And finally, let’s talk about candy. It was a tiny, tiny thing that really, really bothered me about the film. And yes, I’m a little picky, ok? In one of the earlier classroom scenes, a girl is chewing on a Twizzler. A red Twizzler. Quite prominently while she speaks. And later on, Precious’ Down Syndrome child is brought to the house, and is eating a Twizzler, which she drops on the floor. A red Twizzler. Did they just go and buy a Costco size box of Twizzlers and make that the official candy of the Precious movie? Please can somebody explain.