Paula Patton as teacher Ms. Rain.
4 of 5
Precious has won a slew of admirers—it took three prizes at Sundance, and Oprah's Harpo Films became part of its marketing team. The movie's scalding realism is matched by its wicked sense of humor: Precious has a gift for the piquant one-liner ("They talk like TV channels I don't watch," she says of two brainiac friends) and the surprising turn of phrase. "I'm looking up," she says brightly. "I'm looking up…for a piano to fall!"