There was so much buzz about the film ‘Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,’ the film’s Executive Producers were daytime TV goddess Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. It seemed like everyone was talking about the bleak, dark and inspirational film; it was mentioned on just about every media outlet which made it merely impossible to forget it. Precious became known as ‘The movie Oprah does not want you to miss.’
As most everyone knows, Oprah is a powerful influence on just about everything and if Oprah was endorsing something you knew it was a guaranteed success. In the same way, when Oprah gives her opinion on something no one asks any questions, nor do they think about it they just take heed and believe that Oprah knows what she is talking about. So, when Oprah gave her review on Precious, “The film is so raw and powerful — it split me open.” I took heed and believed that the day time queen knew what she was talking about and I decided to go see the film with my sister and a couple of my friends.
‘Precious’ was the first film premier, I had ever attended at TIFF. A dear friend of mine stood in line on her lunch break at Ticket Master Downtown, Toronto and waited for about an hour trying to buy tickets, that’s how much buzz there was about this film. The day of the premiere, I looked semi-casual after all it was only the premier of a film-no big deal, right? Well, so, I thought and boy was I sadly mistaken. My sister, however, thought the complete opposite because she was dressed like she was about to grace the red carpet, but that was no surprise she always dresses like she is about to meet the Queen of the United Kingdom (I am not kidding).
The night of the film’s premier we arrived at Roy Thomson Hall and the line to get inside was two and a half blocks long, literally. There were people from all walks of life eagerly awaiting to see the much talked about film of the year and, to boot all the ladies were thinking in the same manner as my sister; they also looked like were ready to strut their stuff down the red carpet. I mean, they were decked out from head to their four inch heels in designer dresses and shoes. Some wore formal gowns embezzled with scads of crystals you would have thought that Elie Saab designed them, some wore elegant cocktail dresses only celebrities could afford (so you would think) and others wore that infamous little ‘black dress’ with a sexy pair of stilettos – everyone was looking stunning! As for me, I was clearly underdressed and here, I thought it was just the premier of a film. I have to admit; I was feeling a bit out of place, can you blame me?
The film lasted about one hour and ten minutes and at the end everyone in the audience gave it a standing ovation, but the highlight of the night was when Oprah, Tyler Perry and all the film’s star studded cast (Monique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton and Gabriel Sidibe); including Mary J Blige who is on the film’s soundtrack, the writer of the novel, Sapphire’ and the director, Lee Daniels graced the stage to graciously thank everyone for their support. Needless to say, everyone was in awe and broke out clapping, whistling and shouting Oprah and Mariah’s name while they scurried to take pictures from there cameras, Smartphones, iPhones and Blackberrys. And, of course, I scurried to get my camera and took a few pictures of my own as well.
My sister, my two friends and I departed the auditorium after Oprah and the rest of the cast graced us with their presence, we hung around for awhile to mingle with a few other people when we heard several people shouting, “Oh my god, oh my god there is Oprah” and they ran off towards the direction, we presumed Oprah stood. After hearing that broadcast, my sister, my friends and I dashed towards the crowd of people huddling together hoping to see, Oprah. And as, I was making my way towards the crowd, this lady comes from behind me and almost pushes me over. What’s your problem, I said fuming. “Oh, my god, it’s Oprah! Oprah! Oprah!” the woman yelled having not a clue that she almost knocked me over and get this; Oprah was not even on the same floor as us, she was on the main level far beneath us.
In conclusion, I must say that it was definitely an experience and I really enjoyed myself, but if I intend to experience another year at TIFF, you better believe that I will be dressing the part. You never know, I might meet the Queen of the United Kingdom.