While the gay-themed Milk earned an Oscar nod, an up-and-coming gem of a film with queer connections swept the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah in January: Push, based on the novel by Sapphire, won the festival’s coveted Grand Jury and Audience Awards, becoming only the second film in a decade to take both prizes, following Quinceanera in 2006.
Directed by the openly gay Lee Daniels, Push tells the story of Precious Jones, an obese and illiterate 16-year-old played by newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, pictured right. In the film, Precious is pregnant with her second child by her father. Her mother, an abusive welfare recipient, is played by comedian Mo’Nique, who received a special jury award for her performance.
Despite its dark content and circumstances, Push relays a spirit of hope and overcoming adversity, thanks to a helpful lesbian teacher played by Paula Patton, and a social worker portrayed by Mariah Carey.
No release date is set yet for Push.