The Big Picture Review - Kingdom & Precious

The Big Picture Review – Kingdom & Precious

By Mark HadleyMonday 18 Jan 2010

Kingdom
RATING:  PG
DISTRIBUTOR: Seven Network
RELEASE DATE: 7:30 PM, Saturdays

Kingdom tells the sometimes comic tales of a city solicitor charged with handling the bizarre and moving cases of the folk of Market Shipborough. Stephen Fry is perfectly cast as the Cambridge graduate Peter Kingdom, who comes to practice law there. The series is a legal cross between British favourites All Creatures Great And Small and Doc Martin. Kingdom attempts to show that justice can be rendered without passing judgment on any but the meanest individuals – but this is really modern infatuation with tolerance at work and it lacks the wisdom of Solomon. On the surface the morals of Market Shipborough seem to be a little loose and the series contains the rare modestly shot sex scene. However the values turn out to be family oriented and the morals as bland as ‘good people get good things’.

Precious
RATING:  MA
DISTRIBUTOR: Icon
RELEASE DATE: February 4

Based on the best-selling novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, Precious tells the story of a morbidly obese teenage girl who has suffered the worst abuse at the hands of her parents. Starved of affection, she daily escapes into fantasy and food. However a caring social work teaches her that there is love even for someone who has been told she is thoroughly unlovely.

The winner Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury prize, Precious is as inspiring as it is harrowing. There are explicit sex scenes, intense violence and other themes that make this unsuitable viewing for under 18s. Its emotional burden makes it hard to watch and difficult to dwell on. The ending is also realistically uncertain. However one certainty remains: the people who have taken the time to be part of Claireece’ difficult life have made a decisive difference. “Why peoples I should barely know be nicer to me than my mother or my father I don’t know,” she says. “They talk like TV channels I don’t watch … I don’t understand a word they say.” But their actions assure her that she is indeed Precious. A powerful reminder of what Christ-like service can do in even the most damaged life.

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