Monday, March 8, 2010

Magnificent Mo'Nique

Until I saw the movie Precious (based on the novel "Push"), I really had no feelings one way or another toward Mo'Nique. I've never watched her show, and honestly can't remember too many (if any) of her comedic performances in movies. So basically, to me she was just a comedian to whom I'd never given much thought. Maybe she's hilarious. Maybe not. I really don't know.

But I really don't care. When I watched Precious, I was blown away by her performance. I was so happy when Mo'Nique won best supporting actress at the Oscars last night.

If you haven't seen this movie, please, please do so immediately. It's not an easy movie to watch, that's for sure, but it's the kind of movie that sticks with you, and makes you think. And hopefully makes you feel.

Mo'Nique's character, Mary Jones, is awful. She's abusive, hateful, and cruel to her daughter Precious. (I'd tell you more about the storyline, but seriously, you already know about it, don't you? C'mon.)

Yet Mo'Nique manages to portray something in this character that I believe is so important. Even though Mary Jones is a monster, you begin to look at what made her this way. As she tells Mariah Carey without makeup, errr, the social worker, in her final, powerful scene:
"Who else was gonna love me? Who was gonna make me feel good?"

I love what Mo'Nique says in this interview below. I also love how she just took over this press conference, bossed the journalists around, and still called everyone 'baby':

"Have you ever had a dark moment, when you were unlovable? Didn't you want someone to love you through it? ... For as cruel as Mary Jones was, for the monster that she was, everybody—and I don't care who you are and what crime you've committed, everyone deserves to be loved, even when they are unlovable. This role was so not about my acting career. This role has shaped my life, to allow me not to judge, and to love unconditionally. Now if that goes into my career, great. But if it doesn't, and I'm just a dynamic person that I strive to be, I've won, baby."

Kudos to you, Mo'Nique! Please also read this letter by Sapphire, the author of "Push," about why stories like Precious need to be told.  I also loved Mo'Nique's interview with Barbara Walters, where she unflinchingly and unapologetically speaks of her abusive brother, her open marriage (and how she defines "open"), and yes, that she doesn't shave her legs.

Maybe Mo'Nique will never become my favorite comedian. But that doesn't matter, because she has now joined the ranks of my female role models. So in honor of International Women's Day, I'm giving this shout out to Mo'Nique, who not only has given this powerful performance in Precious, but has spread the message that no matter who you are, where you come from, what size dress you are, or even if you (gasp) don't shave your legs, you are deserving of love. We all are.

Happy International Women's Day!


  1. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I wasn't a big fan of her acceptance speech. The Academy proved "it can be about the performance and not the politics?" What does that mean? It seemed a little self-righteous and kind of offensive to the other nominees.

    Anyway, I know that has nothing to do with her performance. I'm sure it was a well-deserved win, and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

  2. Yeah, I agree. I thought that was a bizarre thing to say. Mo'Nique was much more on point during the press conference afterward. Sandra Bullock killed it with her acceptance speech though--graceful and modest.

    Netflix Precious! Just mentally prepare yourself before you watch it. It's heart wrenching.

  3. loved this movie!!! didnt know monique was so talented!