Mariah Carey in Precious

Mariah Carey as social worker Mrs. Weiss.

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As outlandish as it might seem during the film's most ghastly passages, a spirit of wry, cautious optimism does win the day. Precious's name seems like a cruel joke at first, but by movie's end, she has come to own it—she proves that she can love, and be loved back, against all conceivable odds.

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