This year’s little movie that could is shaping up to be Precious, the inspirational tale of a supremely disadvantaged teenager in eighties Harlem. The curious crowd that dropped by last night’s Cinema Society screening for a preview included Donna Karan, Agyness Deyn, and Tommy Hilfiger, the evening’s sponsor.
Sure, it’s a big deal now. But before the game-changer known as Oprah, who signed on as executive producer after the indie film’s Sundance triumph, the fate of Precious was less than certain. “I didn’t know if it would just end up on Netflix, with us having the premiere at my mother’s house,” cast member Paula Patton said before the screening, which took place at the Crosby Street Hotel. She was in a buoyant mood, despite a dress that looked just about ready to pop. “It’s too tight to find out, but we’re pretty sure it’s Tadashi Shoji,” Patton joked.
Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and (in a bravura turn that’s surprised just about everyone) Mo’Nique round out the cast. Although none of them came by last night, the film’s breakout star, Gabby Sidibe, cruised through the after-party, and Colin Powell (not exactly a regular at movie premieres) made a surprise visit. What does it mean when a little movie comes with so many big names? “It means the movie better show and prove,” offered Terrence Howard. Judging from the responsive audience last night, this one is doing both.