Precious Movie Script
PRECIOUS Written by Geoffrey Fletcher January 16th, 2008 1. A line at a time, the following quote appears over a black screen. Every blade of grass has its Angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow, grow." The Talmud FADE IN: 1987 1 EXT HARLEM STREET � DAY 1 A COLD WIND blows a bright red scarf tangled high on a street lamp. An iron waste bin is blown sideways into an intersection. A stray dog investigates it briefly, urinates and then moves on. A book bag drops onto the pavement. Visible from the waist down, a LARGE YOUNG WOMAN in a disintegrating leather jacket turns the waste bin upright and then maneuvers it onto the sidewalk. Once finished, her thick hands wipe each other until they stop abruptly. Here, for the first time, we see her PLUMP, YOUTHFUL, VACANT AFRICAN AMERICAN FACE. It is 16-YEAR-OLD PRECIOUS JONES. Something inside the bin has caught her attention. Precious gazes down upon a soiled and tattered paperback book as the breath from her nostrils steams. The title of the book staring back up at her is unintelligible. She pushes debris aside to get to it. The book plunges deeper into the trash, as if trying to flee. The sound of an ONCOMING CAR approaches. Precious pins the book against the bottom of the bin as the sounds of the oncoming car close in. Precious finally comes up with the book. Its title is still unintelligible. When she flips it over, however, the letters on the cover, which are facing us now, make sense. They read CRYSTAL STAIR: SELECTED WORKS BY LANGSTON HUGHES. (CONTINUED) 2. 1 CONTINUED: 1 The car sounds incredibly close. Precious looks sharply to her left. AN EERIE SKID precedes an eerier THUD! Precious, almost hit, falls back on to the pavement as her book skips across the intersection and down into a drain. She lays on the sidewalk pressed against the base of the street lamp with her eyes closed. The car reverses, skids, stops for a sec, shifts and SCREECHES off. The garbage bin, overturned yet again, rocks side to side until settling, to a stop. An ambulance eases up to the intersection. When the stoplight changes, the ambulance motors past Precious in no hurry. A moment later, its sirens BLARE and it speeds off into the distance. The stray dog returns, re-investigates the garbage bin, and turns to Precious. He licks her face. Tom Cruise walks up to her. Precious' still vacant eyes finally open to see Tom, and the red scarf falling from the street lamp towards her. Tom gives her a hand up. TOM (flirtatious) What's your name girl? Precious blushes. TOM What's your name? Precious still blushing, looks on the ground. FADE TO BLACK. PRECIOUS (V.O.) My name is Precious Jones. I wanna take tap dance lessons. Mama said we can't afford it. A SCHOOL BELL RINGS. 2A. R2 INT. INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL 111/HALLWAY - DAY R2 The end of a final wave of students head to class. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Plus she say who wanna see me dancing anyway. I goes to I.S. 111. In Harlem. New York. Today I was almost late. That'd a been a problem. Precious scurries behind them donning the red scarf and lugging her book bag. 3. 3 INT. CLASSROOM � DAY 3 Precious sits in the last row behind 26 children half her size, 3 years younger and mostly African American. Noise and projectiles fill the air. MR. WICHER -A FRAIL MAN IN A BOW TIE AND TWEED COAT, stands at the head of the class trying to establish order. MR. WICHER Class, would you please turn to page 122 ...Class! 122! Precious' book stays closed as the other students find the page. TWO BOYS in front of Precious giggle boisterously at some private joke. Mr. Wicher looks annoyed but accustomed to this. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I like maff but I don't say nuffin' -don't open my book even. Just sit there. The giggling boys continue their shenanigans. MR. WICHER Boys? The boys finally open their books. MR. WICHER Page 122 please. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Everyday I tell myself something gonna happen, like I'm gonna break through or somebody gonna break through to me -I'm gonna learn, catch up, be normal, sit in the front ...someday. The giggling flares up again. Precious sneers at the boys. MR. WICHER Today we are going to review Monday's assignment. Would anyone like to begin? The boys get louder. (CONTINUED) 4. 3 CONTINUED: 3 Mr. Wicher looks at them helplessly. MR. WICHER Boys! ! ! PRECIOUS (V.O.) I like Mr. Wicher. I pretend he my husband and we live in Weschesser, whereever that is. I can see by his eyes Mr. Wicher like me too. I wish I could tell him all the pages in my book look the same to me, but I can't.. BOY# 1 Excuse you?! The entire class cries, "OOOOOH". Mr. Wicher looks scared. BOY # 1 Nobody 'spect us to learn nuffin no way. Now I'm tryin' to have a motherfuckin' conversation back here if you don't mind Mr. Bitcher, I mean, Mr. Wicher. The boys fallout slapping hands. The class turns to Mr. Wicher in unison to see what he will do. MR. WICHER I want to see you boys after class. BOY# 2 Sorry Mr. Wicher but you ain't my type. Grow some tits. MR. WICHER Just be quiet. Mr. Wicher tries to carry on throughout the boys' unrelenting defiance. Other students are continually distracted by the boys. Precious looks bothered the most as Mr. Wicher's soft voice loses the battle. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I feels sorry for Mr. Wicher. He do his best but he ain't got no voice. He scared too. I feels sorry for him. The boys break out in RIOTOUS LAUGHTER until ... (CONTINUED) 5. 3 CONTINUED: (2) 3 CRASH! A desk slams against the floor. The boys whirl around to see two large hands take hold of them and snatch them out of their chairs. Precious has had enough. PRECIOUS Shut up motherfuckers, I'm trying to learn something! Hard enuff wiffout you stupid clowns carryin' on! BOY# 1 (trembling) ...sorry Precious. BOY# 2 (trembling) We cool. Precious shoves them down in their seats and huffs. PRECIOUS Stupid asses... Go on 'bout cha lesson Mr. Wicher. They ain' gonna give you no more trouble today. Precious turns her desk upright and sits back down. Mr. Wicher looks grateful. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I'm like the polices for Mr. Wicher. Tha's why I can't be late to maff. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. Someone is outside the classroom. Mr. Wicher waves her inside. MRS. LICHENSTEIN, A SKINNY WOMAN IN HER THIRTIES WEARING A DARK SKIRT SUIT enters, squints to find Precious, points briefly and then whispers something to Mr. Wicher. Precious rolls her eyes. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Now dis ... Mrs. Lichenstein sends Precious an oversized grin and beckons to her. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Claireece ... (CONTINUED) 6. 3 CONTINUED: (3) 3 Precious sighs. PRECIOUS (V.O.) What this bitch want? Claireece ... Only motherfuckers I hate call me Claireece. Precious gathers her belongings. The other children watch every move in silence. When she reaches the front of the class ... PRECIOUS You gonna be okay Mr. Wicher? MR. WICHER (forcing a smile) Of course Precious. Thank you. An unconvinced Precious grins sadly as Mrs. Lichenstein motions for Precious to step out ahead of her. Mr. Wicher looks abandoned. The door closing behind Precious might as well be to a prison cell block. Noise inside the classroom returns immediately. R4 INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR - DAY R4 Precious heads off down the wide hallway in silence. R5 INT. MRS. LICHENSTEIN'S OFFICE � DAY R5 Precious waits among plants, plaques, pictures and file cabinets while Mrs. Lichenstein sits across from her reading from a file. Mrs. Lichenstein closes the file and sets it on the desk between them. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Are you pregnant? You're sixteen, still in junior high school and pregnant with your second child. Correct Claireece? Claireece are you pregnant again? Precious stares at the file without responding. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Do you have any thoughts about your situation? Precious shrugs her shoulders. (CONTINUED) 7. R5 CONTINUED: R5 MRS. LICHENSTEIN Claireece? Precious doesn't respond. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (beat) Claireece, I'm talking to you. Precious doesn't respond. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Claireece?! PRECIOUS Am I in trouble? MRS. LICHENSTEIN What? PRECIOUS Am I in trouble? MRS. LICHENSTEIN ...No. PRECIOUS (beat) Then I don't want to miss no more of maff class. Precious starts to rise. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (firmly) Sit down Claireece. Precious sits and sighs. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (beat) You know what I think? I think we should have a parent-teacher conference - me, you and your mom. PRECIOUS My muver is busy. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Well maybe I could arrange to come to your house. (CONTINUED) 8. R5 CONTINUED: (2) R5 PRECIOUS My muver wouldn't like that. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Well then Claireece, I'm afraid I'm going to have to suspend you. PRECIOUS For what? MRS. LICHENSTEIN You're pregnant. PRECIOUS That ain't fair. I ain' done nuffin! I doose my work. I ain' in no trouble. My grades is good... MRS. LICHENSTEIN Your attitude is one of total uncooperation and that won't help a thing... PRECIOUS (V.O.) MRS. LICHENSTEIN Now I heard everything. Nosy I'm not the enemy here. If ass white bitch mad 'cause h there's something going on at she can't come over my house. ome that you would like to I don't be coming to this talk about, you should feel bitch's house in Weschesser. free to do so here. If you I'll be damned. I done heard find that the added stress of everything. White bitch wanna caring for your child is visit. Then I thought about affecting your concentration, Mr. Wicher all alone up that would be helpful to against the fools in his maff know. class ... MRS. LICHENSTEIN Now according to our records, your mother also looks after the child. Is that correct? PRECIOUS (V.O.) No kids on her pictures. Maybe she jealous. I still don't say nuffin. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Are you in contact with the father? (beat) Is he at all involved in your child's care? No answer. (CONTINUED) 9. R5 CONTINUED: (3) R5 MRS. LICHENSTEIN Fine! If that's the way you wanna play it, we can do this all day. The hand on Precious' lap makes a fist. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Thas when I knew I'd never get back to maff class ...Lawd I hate this hoe. Precious lunges from her chair and reaches over the desk. Mrs. Lichenstein vaults backwards in terror and tumbles to the floor. MRS. LICHENSTEIN SECURITY! SECURITY! R6 INT. MRS. LICHENSTEIN'S OUTER OFFICE AREA - DAY R6 Precious bursts out of Mrs. Lichenstein's office and walks to the exit. Mrs. Lichenstein's distant voice still cries for security. R7 INT. SCHOOL CORRIDOR - DAY R7 Precious heads down the hall without looking back. Mrs. Lichenstein's CRIES are still audible. 8 INT. PRECIOUS' APT 444 LENOX AVE. - DAY 8 A faucet runs. Precious stands over the sink washing dishes. A moment later, a WOMAN'S VOICE speaks over the sound of a TELEVISION. MARY (O.S) You get my cigarettes? Precious freezes. Her HEART BEATS loudly. PRECIOUS (delicately) No Mama, I dropped some of my thangs on the way to school. A SCREECHING CAR echoes distantly. MARY - INCREDIBLY LARGE, OILY SKIN, ILL-FITTED WIG AND HOUSE DRESS sits on the couch with her back turned to Precious. This woman looks as if she is one with the furniture. (CONTINUED) 10. 8 CONTINUED: 8 A cigarette smolders between her fingers as she watches "THE PRICE IS RIGHT" on television. Precious, still waiting for the other shoe to drop, looks momentarily relieved and returns to the dishes until ... CRACKKKK! A thick glass ashtray smashes into Precious' head. Precious falls and lands ... 9 INT. PRECIOUS' BEDROOM � NIGHT 9 ...onto a bed completely naked. CARL KENWOOD JONES, A LARGE AND NAKED MAN MUCH MORE THAN TWICE HER AGE falls on top of her and gyrates. Moments later... PRECIOUS (softly) Daddy? An enormous hand muzzles her. Precious lays there impassively as her vacant eyes fixate on a long crack in the ceiling. As we drift towards the crack it seems to widen -to open into another world where... 10 EXT. RED CARPET - NIGHT 10 Blinding flashbulbs pop everywhere. Precious walks the red carpet with Tom Cruise. They head toward the entrance of the theatre stopping occasionally to sign autographs. Both sport matching sunglasses. The paparazzi is going wild. THUNDER RUMBLES. Precious removes her sunglasses and searches the sky. A LIGHTENING CRACK ROARS. Rain starts to fall as ... 11. 11 INT. PRECIOUS' BEDROOM -NIGHT 11 Drops of water seep from the crack in the ceiling accompanied by the sound of distant THUNDER and MASCULINE GRUNTS morphing into... MARY (O.S.) (at the top of her lungs) I SAID I'M HONGRY YOU FAT LITTLE PIGGY CUNT BITCH!!! Git your Jezebel ass up and git to dinner 'fore I give you something to cry about. 12 INT. KITCHEN 444 LENOX AVE. - DUSK 12 Eyes closed with ashes and tears on her face, Precious lays still on the floor. Her hands are still wet from the dishes. GOOOSH! 2 gallons of water splash down on her. Her eyes spring open. Mary stands over Precious with a large dripping pot in her hands. She drops it on the floor and returns to the couch to watch another program. MARY ...I ain' gon' say it again. 13 INT. KITCHEN - LATER 13 Pots and pans sizzle on the stove. Precious, now wearing a dry T-shirt, tends to dinner meticulously until ... ANNNNT! The sharp sound of a BUZZER rings. Mary and Precious turn to the door in unison. MARY Tell them assholes to stop ringing my bell. Here is our first good look at Mary. She wares way too much make up. Precious wipes her hands and heads for the door though Mary sits much closer to it. (CONTINUED) 12. 13 CONTINUED: 13 PRECIOUS (V.O.) No one ever ring the bell but crack addicts. I hates crack addicts. Give the ghetto a bad name. Precious presses TALK on the intercom. PRECIOUS Stop ringing the goddam buzzer motherfucker! Precious heads back to the dishes until ... ANNNT! The buzzer again. Precious returns to the intercom. PRECIOUS Stop ringing the goddam buzzer. ANNNT! PRECIOUS Stop it! ANNNT! PRECIOUS Stop it! MARY Press LISTEN stupid. Precious sighs and presses LISTEN. FEMALE VOICE (O.S.) It's Sondra Lichenstein for Claireece and Ms. Mary Johnston. Precious' face goes blank. Mary looks alarmed and mutes the television. MARY Who that Precious? PRECIOUS White bitch from school. 14 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 14 Mrs. Lichenstein stands by the buzzer bundled up. THUMPING RAP MUSIC FROM A CAR passes behind her. (CONTINUED) 13. 14 CONTINUED: 14 She bounces lightly to the beat. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Lord, where is crack addicts when you need 'em... 15 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 15 Precious and Mary still try to sort this out. MARY What she want? PRECIOUS I don't know. MARY Ask her stupid. Precious presses TALK. PRECIOUS What you want? Precious presses LISTEN. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (O.S.) I want to talk to you about your education. MARY Eighty-six that bitch. Precious looks unsure. 16 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 16 A young man exits the building smoking a cigarette. Mrs. Lichenstein puts her hands together, dramatically pleads for a smoke and gets one. She puts it in her mouth and lights hers to his. Bouncing to stay warm, she nods in gratitude as the man walks off. PRECIOUS (V.O.) This bitch crazy. 'Sides, my muver don't want to get cut off welfare and that's what Mrs. Lichenstein comin' to visit result in. It's hard to believe a hoe dis retarded sposed to educate somebody. 14. 17 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 17 Precious presses TALK. PRECIOUS Git outa here Mrs. Lichenstein 'fore I kick your ass. ANNNT! Precious presses LISTEN. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (O.S.) Claireece I am so sorry about today. I only want to help you. I ...Mr. Wicher says you're one of his best students and that you have an aptitude for math -or at least potential. (beat) I've called a Mrs. McKnight at Higher Education Alternative / Each One Teach One. It's an alternative school. (beat) Claireece, are you listening? Precious looks at her mother. Mary clearly finds this all bizarre. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (O.S.) Claireece, did you hear me? Precious presses TALK. PRECIOUS Yeah. Precious presses LISTEN. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (O.S.) I've called Ms. McKnight at Each One Teach One. It's located on the nineteenth floor of the Hotel Theresa on 125th Street. That's not too far from here. Precious presses TALK. PRECIOUS I know where that is. Precious releases the button. (CONTINUED) 15. 17 CONTINUED: 17 PRECIOUS Bitch. Precious presses LISTEN. MRS. LICHENSTEIN (O.S.) The phone number is 555-0831. I told them about you. Call or drop in, nineteenth floor. PRECIOUS I heard you the first time. MRS. LICHENSTEIN Listen Claireece... If you go down tomorrow.... Look, they have just started their semester. You may be a day or 2 late... Give it a try. 18 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 18 Mrs. Lichenstein bounds off into the night with her cigarette. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I don't know what an alternative school is but I feel I want to know... 19 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. -NIGHT 19 Precious leans against the refrigerator glowing. PRECIOUS (V.O.) My heart is all warm...Mr. Wicher say I'm a good student. There is silent movement behind Precious. Mary approaches quietly wielding a skillet. Mary swings for a head shot but Precious easily sidesteps the blow. The refrigerator takes the hit and a new dent. Precious stares calmly at her mother. Mary almost looks ashamed. Still aglow, Precious grins absently at her mother and then leaves the kitchen. (CONTINUED) 15A. 19 CONTINUED: 19 Mary watches her go and then struts back to the television speaking to herself. MARY School can't help none. Go down welfare. Who she think she is? (CONTINUED) 16. 19 CONTINUED: (2) 19 (beat) Think she cute now right? Shoulda kept her mouf shut. Uppity now cause he give her more childrens than he did me. Should've kept her damn mouf shut. Stupid little pig. Who she think she is? What I'm sposed to do for cig'rettes now? 20 INT. PRECIOUS' BEDROOM - NIGHT 20 Precious, now dressed for bed and still beaming, pulls the covers to her chest. FADE OUT FADE IN 21 EXT. HARLEM CITYSCAPE - DAWN 21 The sun rises into the sky. The shadow of a tree draws shorter as does that of an open gate. 22 PRECIOUS' BEDROOM - DAY 22 The clock on the night stand reads 8:29. We drift back to find Precious sitting on the side of her bed fully dressed with neon yellow leggings and her red scarf as she stares at the clock. Various sheets of colored construction paper display Precious' handprints on the wall. Their sizes increase progressively and end beside a poster of Cyndi Lauper. When the clock reads 8:30, Precious stands, looks in a mirror, sees a pretty blond white girl and leaves the room. 23 INT. PRECIOUS' APT � DAY 23 Precious heads for the front door. MARY Where you going? DUNK, CLINK, CLONK, CLANK -Precious opens 4 locks with swift precision. MARY You hear me talking to you?! Precious leaves slamming the door behind her. 17. 24 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. -DAY 24 We track with Precious as she exits her building. RUBY, A DARK-SKINNED HEAVY-SET LITTLE GIRL WITH A "NATURAL" HAIRSTYLE WHO COULD EASILY PASS FOR A YOUNGER PRECIOUS, trails Precious. A naked blond armless Barbie doll dangles by it's hair from Ruby's hand. RUBY Precious when we gon' play? PRECIOUS (without turning around) Ain' you s'posed to be in school? RUBY You said we was gon' play. PRECIOUS See, thas jus exackly why we ain' gon' be playin'. I never said nuffin like it. RUBY Why not? PRECIOUS Cause you a mess. Look at ya' -no style, no friends, no mama, no daddy. RUBY So?! I ain' the only one. Precious stops abruptly and turns around. PRECIOUS What you say?! RUBY ...nuffin. PRECIOUS Thas what I thought. Precious heads away into the distance. RUBY I check in wif you tomorrow Precious. PRECIOUS (O.S.) You do that. 18. 25 EXT. STREET - DAY 25 Precious walks gazing upward. Street lamps pass beneath the sky as autumn leaves fall from nowhere. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I'm lookin' up. Lookin' out for a piano to fall, a desk, couch, TV, Mama maybe? Always somethin' in the way. Alternative. I'm gon' see all about it. BOY'S VOICE Watch where you goin' Orca! Precious looks down to find three skinny boys, each much smaller than she, taunting her. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Then my mind come back down to Earf. 2ND BOY Shut up fool, she gon' eat you. The boys burst out in laughter slapping hands and grabbing their crotches. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Boyz always been little things that laff and grab they selves -cept for when I's real big and pregnant wif my first baby. Then boyz don't say nuffin. They stand out the way real quiet like I'm Queen of England... Pointing at her leggings, the boys erupt some more. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Still, I wonder...what could I wear that boyz don't laff? Precious crashes to the ground. The boys look surprised a moment and then howl harder than ever. PRECIOUS I always be fallin like that when my mind be wanderin. Mama say I gonna fall to my death one day. Wonder what that be like? (CONTINUED) 19. 25 CONTINUED: 25 The boys continue to taunt her from above. Precious stares into space as if they aren't there. CUT TO: 26 INT. DANCE STUDIO - DAY 26 Precious in Black leotards, fishnet stockings and patent leather shoes tap dancing away. She finishes her number as Tom Cruise walks into frame clapping. Tom gives her a hug and a friendly lick on the ear. 27 EXT. STREET - PRESENT - DAY 27 Precious continues to stare into space as a dog licks on her ear. 28 EXT. 125TH STREET - DAY 28 Precious walks amongst a crowd of people and stops to stare at the Hotel Theresa, a beautiful pre-war building. 29 INT. HOTEL THERESA - DAY 29 Precious enters the lobby. An older black man in a blue uniform sits in a chair reading the Daily News through thick glasses. He doesn't move, react, speak to or look at Precious as she passes him. Precious glances back at him as she reaches the elevators, presses the button and waits. The elevator doors open. Precious steps inside and turns around. Her eyes widen and time slows down. The sound of WIND rises. Moments later, Precious snaps out of her daze and hastily pushes button 19. The doors close. 30 INT. ELEVATOR - DAY 30 Precious rises....5....8....14....15....and.... DING! 19. The elevator doors fly open. 20. 31 INT. HOTEL THERESA 19TH FLOOR - DAY 31 Precious steps out to find an AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN IN HER EARLY 30'S WEARING HER HAIR IN "CORNROWS". She sits behind a desk while speaking on the phone. CORNROWS Why do you say that shit when you don't mean it Trey? I'm not playing with you and I know that wasn't your damn sister neither....because you don't have one...Fine. Yeah, whatever. Cornrows slams the phone down, mumbles and looks over a file. PRECIOUS This the alternative? CORNROWS (looking up) The what? PRECIOUS This the alternative? CORNROWS What exactly are you looking for? PRECIOUS (pointing) Well what is this here? CORNROWS This is Higher Education Alternative / Each One Teach One. PRECIOUS I'm looking for alternative school. CORNROWS This is an alternative school. PRECIOUS What alternative is? CORNROWS What are you asking me? (CONTINUED) 21. 31 CONTINUED: 31 PRECIOUS Alternative. The lady from my other school tell me to come here to Hotel Theresa, nineteenth floor, it's "alternative" school. CORNROWS Each One Teach One is an alternative school and an alternative school is like a choice, a different way to do something. PRECIOUS Oh. CORNROWS You need your discharge papers from your old school saying they have formally discharged you or we can't allow you in the program. PRECIOUS I got kicked out 'cause I was pregnant. CORNROWS You still need formal discharge papers or we can't let you in. It's the law. PRECIOUS Mrs. Lichenstein ain' say all that. CORNROWS Oh you're the one Mrs. Lichenstein called about. PRECIOUS What she say? CORNROWS (searching papers) Are you Claireece P. Jones? PRECIOUS Thas me. CORNROWS Well the principal at I.S. 111 already sent your discharge papers and stuff over. (CONTINUED) 22. 31 CONTINUED: (2) 31 PRECIOUS What stuff? CORNROWS Your academic record. Suddenly, Precious looks very concerned. CORNROWS Are you all right? Precious looks both angry and disappointed. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I thought this was new start. File and tesses chase me to the grave. CORNROWS Claireece? PRECIOUS Huh? CORNROWS We had to have certain information before we could accept you into the program. So really, their sending your records over was just a way of speeding things up for you. PRECIOUS Can I start today? CORNROWS Yup. The only other thing we need right now is income verification. Are you currently receiving AFDC? PRECIOUS No...My muver get AFDC for me and my daughter. CORNROWS Oh, you've had amniocentesis? PRECIOUS Huh? CORNROWS You said your mother has custody of you and your daughter? (CONTINUED) 23. 31 CONTINUED: (3) 31 PRECIOUS Not this baby! I got another one 'sides this coming. CORNROWS Oh I see. Your mother has custody of you and your daughter so you're on her budget. Precious nods. CORNROWS Okay, well I need a copy of your mother's budget and a current phone or utilities bill, okay? PRECIOUS I got to go get all that now? CORNROWS No, relax. We're just gonna give you a few tests -test your reading and math level, see where to place you. PRECIOUS What's the difference? CORNROWS Well, to enter G.E.D. classes a student should be able to read on an eighth-grade level. They should score 8.0 or better on the TABE reading test. PRECIOUS I was in ninfe grade at I.S. Ill. CORNROWS (smiling) Then you should have no problem. Precious doesn't look as convinced. CUT TO: 32 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 32 ECU - SHEET OF PAPER Precious neatly writes CLAIREECE P. JONES on the top of the page. (CONTINUED) 24. 32 CONTINUED: 32 Precious sits alone behind a smattering of empty desks in a bright classroom. She looks over her test, exhales and starts to write. DISSOLVE TO: 33 INT. CLASSROOM - LATER 33 A TICKING CLOCK accompanies ... ...misspelled words ...eraser shreds ...tapping feet ...sweat ...giant letters ...tapping thumb ...tapping pencil ...frowns ...giant numbers ...eraser shreds ...sighs BZZZPFFT! Precious looks up sharply. A square fluorescent light in the ceiling blinks and buzzes as if struggling to stay alive. We tilt down from the blinking light to find that we are in a different place ... 34 INT. DIFFERENT CLASSROOM - DAY 34 A YOUNGER PRECIOUS with uncombed hair sits with her back to us in a bright pink dress. She is at the very back of the classroom. (CONTINUED) 25. 34 CONTINUED: 34 The many children seated in front of her are all blurs that gradually fade into darkness while raising their hands. As we drift towards young Precious, the stains on her dress become more apparent. As we continue drifting, the PLAYGROUND VOICES OF OTHER YOUNG CHILDREN ECHO out... GIRL # 1 (O.S.) ...What that on your dress Precious? GIRL # 2 (O.S.) She don't say nuffin'. She don't talk to nobody. GIRL # 1 (O.S.) She nasty. GIRL # 3 (O.S.) When the last time yo head was combed? Precious mumbles something to herself. GIRL # 4 (O.S.) ...What?! Shut up Precious. You talk funny. You was better when you was on mute. BOY Here come the wide load... Boys makes a lengthy FARTING sound triggering a CHORUS OF LAUGHTER. Our drift finally lands on a puddle of urine at her feet. GIRL # 5 (O.S.) Teacher! Teacher! Precious peeded herself again! GIGGLES fill the air. A small pencil falls into the puddle making a large ripple. DISSOLVE TO: INT. CLASSROOM - DAY - PRESENT Precious' pencil point has broken but she still holds the pencil as if about to write. (CONTINUED) 26. CONTINUED: Precious sits with an absent look on her face and a bead of sweat on her temple. A moment later, a shadow moves over her test. ADMINISTRATOR (O.S.) Claireece, do you need another pencil? The administrator stands over Precious waiting for an answer. ADMINISTRATOR Claireece ... Precious looks up to her blankly. ADMINISTRATOR Are you finished? Precious nods absently. The administrator gently takes the test from Precious' desk and leaves. Precious lingers pensively in the back of the room. PRECIOUS (V.O.) There has always been something wrong wif the tesses ... 36 EXT. STREET - DAY 36 Precious walks with her hands in her pockets watching the pavement pass beneath her. PRECIOUS (V.O. CONT.) ...The tesses paint a picture of me wif no brain. The tesses paint a picture of me 'an my muver -my whole family as less than dumb just ugly black grease to be wiped away, punished, caged up, kilt, changed, finded a job for. Precious leaves us behind. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Sometimes I wish I was not alive. I be O.K. I guess. FADE OUT FADE IN 27. 37 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. APT, BATHROOM - DAY 37 ...A hand shuts off a shower . ...A toothbrush lands in a mug . 38 INT. PRECIOUS' BEDROOM - DAY 38 ...A hairbrush lands on a dresser. ...Thick hands remove a red scarf from a drawer. ...The clock on the night stand reads 8:29. Precious sits on the side of her bed fully dressed with red leggings and her red scarf staring at the clock with a notebook in her hands. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Today is first day. I been tessed. I been incomed eligible. I got my medicaid card, proof of address, self, pencil, notebook -alla dat shit. When the clock reads 8:30, she stands, turns to a mirror, sees a pretty blond white girl and leaves the room. 39 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. KITCHEN - DAY 39 ...Precious stares into the refrigerator. ...Precious stares into the freezer. Finally, she closes the door. PRECIOUS MA! !! No answer. PRECIOUS MA! !! MARY (0. S. ) What?! PRECIOUS I need some money. MARY (0. S. ) For what? (CONTINUED) 28. 39 CONTINUED: 39 PRECIOUS Sumthin' to eat. My head hurt. MARY (0. S. ) (beat) How much you need? PRECIOUS Five dollars. MARY (O.S.) (beat) Come and git it then. The air changes. Time stands still. A look that is both childlike and gray comes over Precious' face. 40 INT. MARY'S BEDROOM - DAY 40 Large panties fall to the floor from beneath the sheets. Mary's knees widen beneath the covers. 41 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. KITCHEN - DAY 41 A frozen Precious stares across the apartment for a brief eternity. Finally, she dashes for the front door, throws open the locks and bolts out of the apartment slamming the door behind her. MARY (O.S.) Where you going?! 42 EXT. STREET - DAY 42 Precious walks briskly. PRECIOUS (V.O.) The other day I cried, felt stupid. Guess what...Fuck that other day. Thas why God or whoever make new days. Still hungry tho. Precious stops and looks up at something. Before her stands a fast food restaurant with a giant sign atop it that says KICKIN FRIED CHICKEN. Precious looks around, takes a deep breath and steps inside. 29. 43 INT. KICKIN FRIED CHICKEN - DAY 43 Precious approaches the counter with a strained "nonchalance". A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN IN A HAIR-NET waits behind the register. Precious sets her notebook and pencil down on the nearest table. WOMAN What you want baby? PRECIOUS Give me a basket please. WOMAN Sides? Precious' eyes wander from the fry bin all the way over to a refrigerator towards the back. PRECIOUS Ain't sure. still thinkin'. Watchin' the weight you know. The woman chuckles and then leaves for the chicken. The digital clock on the wall reads 8:53. Precious whirls around to see A YOUNG MAN CIGARETTE IN HIS MOUTH spraying the door with glass cleaner and then wiping it from the bottom up. Precious turns back around to find her server selecting pieces of chicken from a huge tray with large silver tongs. The clock on the wall reads 8:54. Precious turns to the door again to find the young man still cleaning it. Precious turns back around to see her server returning with a basket of chicken. PRECIOUS Potato salad! Thas it. The woman nods, sets the chicken on the counter and heads back towards the refrigerator in one fluid motion. (CONTINUED) 30. 43 CONTINUED: 43 The young man wipes the top of the front door and looks to be about finished. 44 EXT. KICKIN FRIED CHICKEN - DAY 44 Precious bursts out of the restaurant with the bucket under one arm and sprints off down the block. A SCREAM from inside follows. WOMAN (O.S.) REGGIE!!! GET HER!!! A second later, Reggie, the young man who cleaned the glass, dashes out after Precious. Precious looks back while sprinting and scarfing down pieces of chicken at a remarkable rate. Across the street, SHEILA, Reggie's pregnant girlfriend, screams at him. SHEILA Reggie, where you been? I've been paging your tired ass all night. Reggie stops dead in his tracks. Shit! Busted. He lights up a cigarette, about faces and prepares for her rant. SHEILA Nigga, I knew that was you. And who you running after, some fat bitch. Get your ass over here. Precious turns the corner of 126th street and onto Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard still devouring chicken. A SKINNY DISHEVELED MAN sitting on a standpipe calls out to her. SKINNY MAN You gon catch indigestion Mommie. 45 EXT. HOTEL THERESA - DAY 45 Precious finishes off the chicken at the exact moment she reaches the Hotel, stuffs the bones and basket into a trash bin and dashes into the building. 46 INT. HOTEL THERESA ELEVATOR 46 Precious looks at her watch and then freezes as if something terrible has just dawned on her. 30A. 47 INT. KICKIN FRIED CHICKEN - DAY 47 Precious' notebook and pencil sit on the table where she left them. 48 INT. HOTEL THERESA ELEVATOR 48 Precious looks crestfallen. A glance at her watch makes it worse. (CONTINUED) 31. 48 CONTINUED: 48 Her stomach GROWLS. She suddenly looks unwell. 49 INT. HOTEL THERESA 19TH FLOOR - DAY 49 The elevator doors open. Cornrows speaks on the phone while picking her nails. Several lines are ringing. She waves from behind her desk as Precious walks by. CORNROWS (on the phone) ...What else would get away with clouding your mind, messin your heart and leaving the goddamn toilet seat up? Wait a minute girl.... She decides to grab a line. CORNROWS Each One Teach one, hold please. She pushes another line. CORNROWS Each One Teach One, hold. She goes back to her conversation. CORNROWS Yeah, I'm back. Precious exits. A49 INT. HOTEL THERESA HALLWAY - DAY A49 Precious, nauseous, makes her way down the hallway. B49 INT. HOTEL THERESA HALLWAY OUTSIDE MS. RAINS ROOM - DAY B49 Precious lunges for a trash bin into which she promptly vomits. She quickly catches her breath. Wipes her mouth and looks 10 feet away at a brightness coming from an open doorway. Her HEART BEATS loudly. Precious stands up. She seems to be there for a considerable spell. A blur of a young girl darts into the room from the other end of the hall without looking at her. (CONTINUED) 31A. B49 CONTINUED: B49 MS. RAIN, PETITE, AFRICAN AMERICAN, BEAUTIFUL, THIRTIES, ALERT EYES enters the hallway looking at her watch and then up to Precious. MS. RAIN You alright? Precious doesn't respond. MS. RAIN Are you in the A.B.E. class? PRECIOUS Yes. MS. RAIN This is it. Ms. Rain looks at her watch, beckons Precious with one arm and disappears inside. MS. RAIN (O.S) Time's a wastin'. (CONTINUED) 32. B49 CONTINUED: (2) B49 Precious still doesn't move. Ms. Rain appears again. MS. RAIN You in or you out? This door closes in thirty seconds. Ms. Rain disappears again. Precious' feet finally transport her into the bright doorway. Its blinding light envelopes her completely. 50 INT. CLASSROOM -DAY 50 Ms. Rain's desk sits before six smaller ones situated in a semi-circle. Four of them are occupied by girls roughly Precious' age: RHONDA JOHNSON -AFRICAN AMERICAN, STOCKY AND EVEN TALLER THAN PRECIOUS, RITA ROMERO -LATIN DESCENT, MEDIUM BUILD, FRIENDLY FACE AND DRESSED ENTIRELY IN BLACK, JERMAINE HICKS WIRY, LEAN, SEATED AND DRESSED LIKE A BOY and CONSUELO MONTENEGRO - LATIN DESCENT, PETITE GLOWING AND GORGEOUS. She twirls her hair incessantly with slender painted fingertips. A seventh desk sits well apart from the others back beneath the windows. The girls all stare up at Precious blankly as she enters the room. Precious looks to be in a mild state of shock as she gazes around from the girls to Ms. Rain to the clouds outside the windows. PRECIOUS (V.O.) First thing I wonder is where is everybody -the boyz, the noises ...this feel like a Sunday school or crazy house...or something like bof' but different. Smell different too. Precious' eyes land on the lone desk in the rear of the room. MS. RAIN (O.S.) Have a seat. Precious looks from the distant desk to one up front and then back to the distant desk. She sits with the other girls delicately, as if she were a visitor in a complete stranger's home. (CONTINUED) 33. 50 CONTINUED: 50 Ms. Rain finishes marking the roll sheet, places the cap on her pen and holds up a notebook identical to the one Precious left at the Kickin Fried Chicken. MS. RAIN Does everyone have her notebook? Precious sucks her teeth in self-disgust as she looks around to find that all the other girls have theirs. JO ANN ROGERS -CAREFREE, CUTE AND SMUG, then breezes into the room with an air of insubordination. MS. RAIN It's 9:07. Jo Ann you're late. Jo Ann points into her mouth, which is full. JO ANN (chewing) I had to. Most important meal of the... MS. RAIN Starting tomorrow, this door will be locked at 9:00. Jo Ann rolls her eyes and sits beside Precious. MS. RAIN Class, today we have some new people so let's just... JO ANN Ooh! Hold up! wait up! Hold up! I found something! MS. RAIN I beg your pardon Jo Ann! JO ANN 2000 'pologies Miz Rain but I jus' want to say, do anyone need an extra notebook I foun' in the chicken place? PRECIOUS It's mine! JO ANN Okay hoe. I found your Cadillac too. It's parked out front. (CONTINUED) 34. 50 CONTINUED: (2) 50 Jo Ann rolls her eyes. PRECIOUS I leff it! I did! I leff it at the Kickin Fried Chicken on Lenox tween one-two-seven and one-two-six this morning. JO ANN ...Alright girl, I was just fuckin' with you. Jo Ann returns the notebook to Precious. MS. RAIN Mind your mouth in here Jo Ann. JO ANN What I say?! MS. RAIN Just watch the language. Jo Ann shrugs her shoulders, looks down and then turns her eyes to Precious' stomach. JO ANN (quietly) When you due? Precious looks down and shrugs her shoulders. MS. RAIN Since we have more new people than old people today, let's just go back to square one and get to know each other. State your name, where you were born, your favorite color, something you do well and why you're here. CLASS What?! Ms. Rain points to the blackboard where each of the 5 questions are written neatly to the side. MS. RAIN I'll start. My name is Blu Rain ... CLASS What?! (CONTINUED) 35. 50 CONTINUED: (3) 50 JERMAINE Thas your real name? MS. RAIN That's my for real, hope to die if I'm lying name. JERMAINE Your first name Blue? MS. RAIN Yes it is. My favorite color is purple... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Off da bat sumthin' different wif dis lady. She like to sing. I wish I could sing. Go to church. Sing on a choir. Mama say ain't no God. Dis lady remind me Mr. Wicher but more a man and like Miss Lichenstein 'cept not a cuckoo. Dress like she ride in out the village too. MS. RAIN ...What do I do well? I sing pretty well. And I'm here because a good friend used to teach at this school. She was out one day and asked me to substitute for her. When she quit, they asked me if I wanted the job. I said yes and I've been here ever since. Rhonda? RHONDA My name Rhonda Patrice Johnson. I was born in Kingston Jamaica ... Precious looks her over. PRECIOUS (V.O.) RHONDA Big redbone girl big like me My favorite color is blue. but don't talk funny like how I cook good. My mother usta coconut head peoples do. have a restaurant on Seventh Ave. Before she got sick, she taught me everything. I'm here to bring up my reading so I could get my G.E.D. Rhonda turns to Rita who sits beside her. (CONTINUED) 36. 50 CONTINUED: (4) 50 RITA My name is Rita Romero. I was born right here in Harlem. I'm here because I was an addict and dropped out of school ... PRECIOUS (V.O.) RITA Skinny Spanish girl seem a ...and never got my reading little sad but maybe jus and writing together. My quiet. Could be bofe. I check favorite color is black but I into it. guess you could tell that. JO ANN What do you do good? MS. RAIN Well. What do you do well Jo Ann? Jo Ann points to herself as if to say, "Me?!" and Ms. Rain shakes her head and points to Rita. RITA (softly) I'm a good mother, a very good mother. Jermaine is next in line. JERMAINE My name is Jermaine. My favorite color... RHONDA Tell us where you born first. JERMAINE (mildly annoyed) I was born in the Bronx, still live there... PRECIOUS (V.O.) JERMAINE What the hell is going on in h ...Red is my favorite color. kere? Is she a man? What Usta be blue. I'm a good kinda school is this? I don't dancer if I do say so. A now here. Jermaine, which I friend told me about Each One don't have to tell you, is a / Teach One. I came here to boy's name. get away from bad influence. RITA You come to Harlem to get away from bad influence? (CONTINUED) 37. 50 CONTINUED: (5) 50 JERMAINE I'm afraid so. JO ANN Can I go Miz Rain? MS. RAIN When it's your turn Jo Ann. Consuelo? CONSUELO (still twirling her hair) Favorite color? Why I'm here? What's alla dat shit? MS. RAIN It's just a way of breaking the ice -a way of getting to know each other better... PRECIOUS (V.O.) MS. RAIN Ooohhh, dis pretty Spanish ...by asking nonthreatening girl, coffee cream color wit questions that allow you to long ol' good hair. She look share yourself with the group nice but got some attitude. without having to reveal more Ain' like she tha first tho. of yourself than might be comfortable ... MS. RAIN ...You don't have to do it if you don't want to but you do have to watch your language. CONSUELO I don't want to. MS. RAIN You don't want to do what, participate or watch your language? CONSUELO The first part. Precious is next. MS. RAIN Claireece? Precious doesn't respond. MS. RAIN Claireece? (CONTINUED) 38. 50 CONTINUED: (6) 50 PRECIOUS (softly) Could I skip too Miz Rain? MS. RAIN (beat) Certainly. Jo Ann? Precious exhales looking astoundingly grateful and then turns to Jo Ann. JO ANN I'm Jo Ann. (waving enthusiastically) Hi! My favorite color is fluorescent beige. My ambition is to have my own record layer. Ms. Rain and the class look confused. RHONDA Where were you born and why are you at this school? PRECIOUS (V.O.) JO ANN Jo Ann like the spotlight and I was born in King's County can't sit still. Teacher Hospital. My mother moved us don't need no outside to Harlem when I was nine policin' tho. She ain' years old. I'm here to get my 'fraid. I wonder what is a G.E.D., then, well I'm record layer anyway. already into the music industry. I just need to take care of the education thing so I can move up. MS. RAIN Well, that's everyone. Welcome to... PRECIOUS (O.S.) I could...Could I...go? Surprised, Ms. Rain and the class turn to Precious. She is visibly uncomfortable and seems as if trying to hide in plain sight. MS. RAIN Okay Claireece. The air is sucked out of the room. (CONTINUED) 39. 50 CONTINUED: (7) 50 PRECIOUS (V.O.) Everybody looking at me now. Everybody see me. I wish for back of class again... The distant desk vanishes over Precious' shoulder. PRECIOUS (V.O. CONT'D) ...then I think, never that again. Precious exhales. PRECIOUS My name Claireece Precious Jones. I go by Precious. I was born in Harlem. I like yellow 'n I had a problem at my old school so I come here. MS. RAIN (beat) Something you do well? Precious thinks for a moment and then shrugs. PRECIOUS ...Nuffin. MS. RAIN (softly) Everybody is good at something. Precious shakes her head. MS. RAIN One thing? PRECIOUS (looking down) I can cook and... The room waits. MS. RAIN And? PRECIOUS I never... The room continues to wait. (CONTINUED) 40. 50 CONTINUED: (8) 50 PRECIOUS Well ...I never talked in class before. I guess now I could do that too. MS. RAIN (beat) How does it make you feel? Precious looks around but seems to be searching inside more than anywhere else. After a moment... PRECIOUS ...Here. It make me feel ...here. The class is quietly taken aback. Precious smiles as if having just made it ashore from a ship lost at sea. FADE OUT FADE IN 51 EXT. HARLEM STREET - DAY 51 Precious walks off alone still beaming from the new world she has discovered. P RECIOUS (V.O.) Before, I got A minus in English and never say nuffin', never do nuffin'. But Miz Rain say we gonna read and write in our notebooks every day. Thas sumthin' seeing how we can't really do none of those things and then I think maybe this ain' tha class for me. But when Miz Rain see the worry on my face, she look at me and start to talk in Chinese... The ghostly image of Ms. Rain appears on the sidewalk ahead of Precious. It is a glimpse from back in the classroom. Her voice ECHOES. (CONTINUED) 41. 51 CONTINUED: 51 MS. RAIN (V.O.) The longest journey begins with a single step... Ms. Rain vanishes and Precious shakes her head. PRECIOUS (V.O.) ...Whatever the fuck that spozed to mean. This school different, okay. But this not Star Trek neitha'. Precious continues into the distance. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Complicated, complicated -Chinese journeys, 2 books, write 'n you don't know how? Dawg ... 52 INT. CLASSROOM - ANOTHER DAY 52 Ms. Rain writes the letter A on the board and then hands the chalk to Jermaine. Jermaine writes B and then hands it to Consuelo. Consuelo writes C and hands it to Rhonda. Rhonda writes D and hands it to Rita. Rita takes a step and starts to cry. She drops the chalk. It shatters on the floor. MS. RAIN We're all in this together Rita. Class? ALL BUT RITA E! Rita picks up the largest shard of chalk from the floor and writes E on the board. She hands the chalk to Precious and Precious writes F. The entire class sits simultaneously and then giggles at their synchronicity. MS. RAIN This is just the beginning. Why don't we try by ourselves? There are 26 letters in the alphabet. They all have a sound. These letters make up all the words in our language. Please open your notebooks, write the date and then let's write the alphabet. The girls begin to write. (CONTINUED) 42. 52 CONTINUED: 52 Precious soon sets her pencil down, moves her hands to her stomach and looks faint. She gathers herself, catches her breath and trudges on. MS. RAIN (O.S.) This is going to be painless ... 53 INT. SMALL OFFICE - DAY 53 Precious and Ms. Rain sit close together over a small table looking down at a large colorful children's book. MS. RAIN ...I just want you to read a page from this book. Precious looks up at her blankly and then back down at the book with trepidation. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Sure lady, right after I get voted president. MS. RAIN Precious? PRECIOUS I can't do that Miz Rain. MS. RAIN C'mon Precious. Give it a try. Precious looks mortified and starts breathing heavily. RAPID MONTAGE - DOOR SLAMS, MOANS, PANTING, PLATES BREAKING, MEAT SIZZLING, ZIPPERS, GRUNTS, SQUEAKING BED SPRINGS, LAUGHTER, SCREAMS, A RAZOR SLICING YOUNG FLESH, SWEAT and DAYTIME TELEVISION all assault her mind's senses. Ms. Rain speaks with a dire look of concern on her face but no words come out. She places a hand on Precious' shoulder and the kaleidoscope of sounds sucks away into the air. The words from Ms. Rain's mouth finally register. MS. RAIN Precious. Honey are you okay? Try to relax. Should I call an ambulance? 911? Your moth ... PRECIOUS NO! !! (CONTINUED) 43. 53 CONTINUED: 53 Ms. Rain jumps. MS. RAIN What is it? PRECIOUS The pages ... Ms. Rain looks down perplexed. PRECIOUS (defeated) They all look alike to me. Always did. MS. RAIN (beat) The words or the pictures? PRECIOUS The words. Ms. Rain sighs. She sits back for a moment and looks as if she's processing more than just the tragedy of this particular situation but what is that of countless others. In a decisive, almost militaristic movement, Ms. Rain sits up again. MS. RAIN I think I understand you Precious but I still want you to try. You're going to have to push yourself. Precious looks back down at the page. There are people of various colors on a beach. MS. RAIN What do you think the story is about? PRECIOUS Peoples at the beach? MS. RAIN That's right. Ms. Rain points to the letter A. It is the first word on the page. MS. RAIN Do you know what that is? (CONTINUED) 44. 53 CONTINUED: (2) 53 PRECIOUS Yes. A. Ms. Rain points to the next word. MS. RAIN Do you know that word? PRECIOUS No. I don't. MS. RAIN Do you know the letters. Precious nods. Ms. Rain points to the letters ... PRECIOUS D, A, Y. MS. RAIN Do you know that word? Precious shakes her head. MS. RAIN Day. That word is day. Ms. Rain points to the next word. MS. RAIN What's that word? PRECIOUS Ate. MS. RAIN Good! Almost! The word is 'at'. Ms. Rain points at the next word. PRECIOUS The! Ms. Rain points to the next word. PRECIOUS ...Beach? MS. RAIN 'Shore'. That word is 'shore'. That's almost like 'beach'. Very good. Can you read the whole thing? (CONTINUED) 45. 53 CONTINUED: (3) 53 Precious nods. PRECIOUS A-Day-at-the-Shore. Amazed the words that escaped were from her very own mouth, Precious' jaw drops. She whirls to Ms. Rain. Ms. Rain smiles. We ease away from the office as the two of them continue working down the page. 54 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. - NIGHT 54 Precious enters the apartment. Mary sits on the couch watching "THE COSBYS." MARY Bring your fat ass in here! Precious suddenly looks exhausted. MARY Where you sneak your ass off to this morning? Precious doesn't respond. MARY You hear me talking to you! Where you sneak your ass off to this morning?! PRECIOUS School! I was at school! MARY You lying whore! PRECIOUS Am not! MARY You is! The welfare done called here, saying they is removing you from my budget 'cause you not in regular attendance in school. PRECIOUS Mama, I tole you I got kicked out. I been home mostly every day for two weeks. (CONTINUED) 46. 54 CONTINUED: 54 MARY You didn't say nothin' `bout no damn school today. PRECIOUS Mama, I tole you dis morning I was goin'to school. At a loss but still angered, Mary turns back to the television slowly. Precious starts for her room until... MARY I ain' had no breakfast. Precious stops, sighs, heads to the sink and starts washing her hands. Mary talks to Precious while watching television. MARY ...Need to forget school. Need to git your ass on down to welfare. Precious dries her hands and reaches for a pan. PRECIOUS I'm gonna get stipend for school and then... MARY Fool fuck a stipend. What's that? I said take your ass down to welfare. Precious stops everything with the pan in her hand. PRECIOUS Now? MARY No stupid. Got to be there at 7 in the A.M. if you gonna talk to anybody... Precious shakes her head, huffs and turns on the stove. Mary then presses the mute button on the remote and whirls around with a cold cigarette between her fingers. MARY -Oh you too good for that? Is that what you is now, too good for welfare? (beat) (CONTINUED) 47. 54 CONTINUED: (2) 54 More white folks on 'ssistance than there is niggas Miss Onassis. Other ones got trust fund welfares from 'sploitin po dumb asses like yo dumb ass for centuries ...Man on TV say let's end 'Firmative Action. Fine wit me. And while we at it, let's take out son-in-laws, country clubs, white motherfuckers and then call it a day. Precious turns to her mother looking surprised but pensive. Mary's eyes are still fixed on the TV. MARY Now hurry yo ass up. I'm gon die of starvation over here. Then where you be at then? CUT TO: 55 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. - LATER - NIGHT 55 A picturesque plate of pork chops and mashed potatoes. Precious delivers it to the couch with a fork and knife. THE APARTMENT HAS TRANSFORMED INTO THE PRISTINE WORLD OF THE TV SITCOM THEY WERE WATCHING. Precious and Mary are well- dressed and done-up like TV stars. MARY What you gon' have? PRECIOUS I ain' hungry. I ... MARY Yes you is. PRECIOUS But Mama I ... MARY Sit your ass down. Precious sighs and joins Mary on the couch. Mary hands Precious the plate and silverware. MARY Jus make mine after you done. This gon' get cold if it sit. (CONTINUED) 48. 55 CONTINUED: 55 PRECIOUS But I thought you said you was hongry? MARY Do what I say don't say what I say. Now eat bitch! Precious starts eating slowly. Mary lights her cigarette. MARY ...Best feed like a pig and not a cow so's you can git yo ass back to the stove. If I croak off starvation, where in the world you be at then? Precious eats reluctantly. CUT TO: 56 INT. KITCHEN - LATER - NIGHT 56 Pots and pans sit drying on the counter. Precious wipes her hands on a dishcloth. The room is quiet and empty now. Precious stares blankly out of the window. ...She goes to the television, presses the remote and sits down. "THE COSBYS" is still on. Tired and full, she turns the TV off. She watches Mary's face snoring rhythmically but with extremely unpleasant noises. Finally, she backs away and goes to her bedroom. 57 INT. PRECIOUS' BEDROOM - NIGHT 57 Precious falls back across her bed with her arms spread. She stares up at the crack in her ceiling... A hand darts into frame, touches Precious' side and then quickly withdraws. Precious ignores it. The hand returns for another jab. Precious restrains a grin. Finally the hand tickles her fiercely. (CONTINUED) 49. 57 CONTINUED: 57 She giggles uncontrollably. The hand belongs to Tom Cruise. He wears a leather jacket with a cherry red motorcycle helmet tucked under one arm. The helmet has a golden bow stuck on its crown. ...Precious chases him out of frame for some revenge tickling as they both laugh quietly. ...The helmet falls to the floor with a bounce. WOMAN'S VOICE (O.S.) ...Claireece, would you like to talk about your home life? 58 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY 58 Precious sits on a small couch in a modest office containing 2 bookshelves, several plaques and 2 file cabinets. MS. WEISS -40's, CAUCASIAN, CONSERVATIVELY DRESSED sits across from Precious with a clipboard on her lap and glasses low on her nose. A strap hangs down from the glasses and snakes around the back of her neck. PRECIOUS What do you want me to say? MS. WEISS Whatever comes to mind when you think about your home. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Seem like inquiring white bitches always want to know. PRECIOUS I wish I had a TV in my room. MS. WEISS (beat) Is that all? PRECIOUS No... My muver is a like a whale person for the couch. She says I eat alla time, but then she always makin' me eat... and then call me a fat mess.... She says apartment is little because of me. (CONTINUED) 50. 58 CONTINUED: 58 She only leaves the house to play the number. Sometimes I feel I could just sit there wif her everyday wif the shades drawed, watch TV, eat, watch TV, eat. Can we talk about something else now? MS. WEISS Of course. I want to learn more about your father anyway. PRECIOUS I don't know much more than you do Miz White... MS. WEISS Weiss. PRECIOUS He say he the original man like Farrakhan be saying but little do he know about it. He give me this baby comin and my other one before. Thas all I know. Don't see him. Don't need to I guess. MS. WEISS (quickly) What did you say your father gave you? PRECIOUS (catching herself) ...Nuffin. MS. WEISS Yes you did Claireece. You said your father gave you... PRECIOUS No I didn't neitha. If you heard that, then you heard sumthin' else cause I ain' said nuffin like it! Ms. Weiss' wariness looks unmoved. PRECIOUS Now whas next? MS. WEISS Um...How about your first child? You haven't spoken much about her... (CONTINUED) 51. 58 CONTINUED: (2) 58 Precious turns to Ms. Weiss. A DOORBELL RINGS ... 59 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. APT. - DAY 59 TOOSIE, A WOMAN IN HER LATE 50'S RADIATING A TOUGHNESS OF PRIOR GENERATIONS, enters the apartment in a business-like manner with MONGO, A SMALL, DISTRACTED AND OBVIOUSLY HANDICAPPED CHILD. Toosie has a bag of groceries in her other arm. Precious watches TV beside her mother. Both appear as if they've just woken up. Mary attempts to put on her wig and make up. Toosie gives Mongo to Mary, whose eyes never leave the television, and then hands the groceries to Precious, who takes them directly to the kitchen as Toosie leaves without a word. PRECIOUS (O.S.) Mongo? MS. WEISS (O.S.) Excuse me? PRECIOUS (O.S.) Mongo? Thas short for Mongoloid. She got Down Sinder. MS. WEISS (O.S.) You mean she has Down Syndrome? PRECIOUS (O.S.) Alla dat. The child seems only mildly aware of what is going on. The DOORBELL rings again. Precious opens the door. A HISPANIC WOMAN IN HER THIRTIES with an attache case enters. As the woman steps inside, we see that Mary has finished tidying herself. Mary and the woman exchange small talk while Precious listens. Mary has never seemed so congenial. PRECIOUS (O.S.) My grandmuver Toosie, brangs Little Mongo over on days social worker come so it look like Mongo live wif us. Then my mama get the check 'n food stamps for me 'n Little Mongo. But it's my baby. Little Mongo is money for me, not her! 52. 60 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY 60 Precious continues speaking to Ms. Weiss from the couch. PRECIOUS ...Sometimes I see vampires too. They come for me sometimes and they say that I am one of them. They say, "Precious, you belong wif us." MS. WEISS How do you respond to them? PRECIOUS I say, "Check wif my muver." After that, they just look at me and go down through the floor. The family downstairs is vampires so that's where they should go. Ms. Weiss looks up from her clipboard and over her glasses. Precious reflects a moment and then looks up. PRECIOUS I'm going to the doctor now too. It's nice. Miz Rain, she fall out when she finded out that I ain' been to no doctor. Whole class scream 'preenatal' at me. They don't know I had my first baby on the kitchen floor wif my muver kicking me upside my head. I mean, who would believe? Precious snickers reminiscently a moment and then turns to Ms. Weiss. PRECIOUS Them the kind of thangs you mean when you say talk about whatever come into my mind? Ms. Weiss looks up and nods through a perplexed daze. 61 INT. CITY BUS - DAY 61 Precious rides lost in thought. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I still don't know why I said all them thangs. I know I wasn't s'posed to. Just tired. (CONTINUED) 53. 61 CONTINUED: 61 Tired of lying I guess. Hope mama don't find none of it out. She kill me for real cause that be tha end of them welfare checks. 62 EXT STREET - DAY 62 The girls burst into frame followed by Ms. Rain and Cornrows and then bound up a large number of steps leading into THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART. 63 INT. METROPOLITAN MUSEUM PERMANENT EGYPTIAN ART COLLECTION 63 Led by a spirited guide and trailed by Ms. Rain and Cornrows, the girls scrutinize colossal tombs, various artifacts, hieroglyphics and photographs. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain brang us out to see some real old stuff. Thangs and stuff before TV's was made, before Mr. Abraham Lincoln, before Miz Harriet Tubman -maybe some stuff before Miz Weiss even. Precious and Rita fearfully enter the Tomb of Perneb. 2 steps in, Rita grabs Precious hand tightly. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Before we turn tha corner in a mummy tomb, Rita grab hold of my hand. No one in my life ever do that. Ever. (beat) How Rita do it wiffout a thought? Rita and Jermaine study a sphinx. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Guide lady smart. Say dis the first civilization of the Earf. Black folks, first! Jo Ann poses like an Egyptian hieroglyphic. Consuelo examines her nail polish. 64 INT. CLASSROOM -DAY 64 Ms. Rain writes briskly across the blackboard. As she makes her way across the frame, a barrage of letters and numbers peel off the board, fly across the room, converge and enter Precious' forehead. (CONTINUED) 54. 64 CONTINUED: 64 Just before the letters and numbers reach Precious, lifelike holographic images flank them. They are SPINNING PLANETS, FLYING PTERODACTYLS, STAMPEDING ELEPHANTS, EMMETT TILL, MLK, JFK, MALCOLM X, CIVIL RIGHTS MARCHERS, FIRE, TIDAL WAVES, A VOLCANIC ERUPTION, CONTINENTS, MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS, LIGHT BULBS AND THE INVERTED WORDS "JANIE", "SULA" AND "CELIE" ... A few letters, numbers and images try to reach Jo Ann but most just bounce off of her and fall away. Consuelo bats a few mathematical symbols off as if they were flies. Finally we land on Precious as she confidently stabs her hand into the air to answer a question. 65 INT. CITY BUS - DAY 65 Precious rides on one of the side seats towards the back while wearing her red scarf. The New Yorkers surrounding her are all men of various backgrounds. All wear the exact same suits and raincoats. Precious looks up to find two of the businessmen staring down at her. We pan from them and around the bus to find all of the other passengers studying Precious in silence as well. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I liked'd that museum so much I went back by myself... Peoples ...They only look when my belly big. They minds all made. But do they know? No. They do not know that I am a girl for flowers and thin straw legs? PRECIOUS (V.O.) If other peoples could see that the way I do, they would see that I am a real person inside. Our long circular pan finally lands on Precious' seat but sitting there now is the pretty blond white girl from Precious' bedroom mirror wearing Precious' clothes. The bus grinds to a stop. A man smiles at Precious and steps off the bus. The original Precious takes the abandoned newspaper from his empty seat and tries to read it. (CONTINUED) 55. 65 CONTINUED: 65 Precious stops to watch two "society" ladies in hats and gloves push antique buggy style baby carriages along the sidewalk. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain say the longest journey begin wif a single step. I wonder what step they journeys begin on. Mama always talk about how there be all different types of welfare. I want filfy rich white folks welfare. Mama crazy but Mama not stupid. Precious continues observing pensively as the ladies pass a bearded and bedraggled elderly white man laying on the street in tattered clothes. As Precious studies him, her expression changes ever so slightly. Enormous handwritten letters forming "NOT STUPID" overtake her face as we DISSOLVE TO the PAGE upon which she wrote it. 66 INT. HOTEL THERESA CLASSROOM - DAY 66 Precious writes in her notebook. All of the other girls do the same. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I am happy to be writing. I am happy to be in school. I am happy to know my baby coming soon. Don't see the sense in pretending I am not pregnant anymore. I am also thinking about lil Mongo a lot. Miz Rain say we gonna write everyday, that mean home too. PRECIOUS (V.O.) And she gonna write back everyday. Thas great. Precious looks up to find Jo Ann tapping her pencil, looking around annoyed and literally at a loss for words. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Mama say this new school ain' shit tho. Say you can't learn nuffin' writing in no book. Gotta git on that computer you want to make some money. But Mama wrong about that. (CONTINUED) 56. 66 CONTINUED: 66 I is learning. Gonna read to dis baby too and hang colors on its walls. We close in on Precious writing as we hear her whisper the following. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Listen Baby, Muver love you. Muver not dumb. Listen: PRECIOUS (CONT'D) PRECIOUS (V.O.) (CONT'D) (in a whisper) Thas the alphabet. Twenty-six ABCDEFGHIJKLPMN letters in all. Them letters O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z. make up words. Them words everything. Precious looks up from her page gazing in an otherworldly way. One by one, the other girls stop what they're doing and stare at Precious curiously. Their eyes turn downward in unison. CLOSE ON Precious' legs. A gush of water pours down between them as if it were a tidal wave. 67 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 67 SILENT MONTAGE ...The wheels of a speeding gurney waggle to remain straight. ...Fluorescent lights stream by overhead. ...Name tags dangle from the chests of attendants pushing the gurney. One we see belongs to a handsome African American Male nurse, JOHN MCFADDEN. He is constantly looking down with a reassuring smile. ...Covered in sweat, Precious screams without our hearing a sound. 68 EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY 68 ...Two rain drops dance atop a puddle outside . ...Water drips from a tree limb . 57. 69 INT. HOSPITAL - NIGHT 69 PRECIOUS (V.O.) His name Abdul Jamal Louis Jones. He healthy. His muver love him. John, the nurse who helped gurney Precious in, again stares down warmly at her. This time with Abdul in her arms. 69A INT. HOSPITAL BEDROOM - NIGHT 69A Precious sleeps peacefully. It is still raining outside. Ms. Rain crochets in the corner. FADE OUT FADE IN 70 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 70 We are close on Precious. Her eyes focus intently and occasionally dart up and down. Nurse John is doing the same thing. His hands lay on top of Precious' with their palms touching. We glimpse both of their searching eyes again. Suddenly, Precious whips her hands over and SLAPS the back of John's before he can pull them away. PRECIOUS I win. JOHN That hurt girl. PRECIOUS Get to X-Ray. JOHN (leaving) Maybe I will. PRECIOUS You gon have to if you don't practice. JOHN Alright. (CONTINUED) 58. 70 CONTINUED: 70 John exits. The girls from class ogle him from another part of the room as he leaves and then nudge and bicker with each other for pole position to hold Abdul. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Dear Miz Rain, All the years I sit in class I never learn, but now I got baby again by my fahver. Behind the girls, Precious sits up in bed writing in her journal. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I wish I had a boyfriend like other girls and then I'd feel right that I have to quit school. I love my baby but want school too. Precious closes her book. Jo Ann backs away from the others, takes the notebook and then leaves. Rhonda returns Abdul to Precious. The remaining girls embrace Precious one at a time and then file out of the room. 71 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 71 As the girls stream into the classroom, Jo Ann sets Precious' notebook on Ms. Rain's desk. Ms. Rain opens it immediately. 72 INT. SMALL OFFICE - DAY 72 Ms. Rain writes at her desk. MS. RAIN (V. O. ) Dear Precious, I am glad you love your baby. MS. RAIN (V.O.) I think a beautiful young girl like you should have a chance to get an education. I think your first responsibility has to be to yourself. You should not drop out of school ... 73 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 73 Precious reads from her journal. (CONTINUED) 59. 73 CONTINUED: 73 MS. RAIN (V.O. CONT'D) Come back to class. We miss you. Love, Ms Rain. Precious immediately writes back. PRECIOUS(V.O) Dear Miz Rain... 74 INT. MS. RAIN APARTMENT - BEDROOM - DAY 74 Ms. Rain sits on the corner of bed reading Precious' journal. PRECIOUS (V.O. CONT'D ) Social worker ask me if I want to give Little Mongo and Abdul up for adoption. I could kill her. She never help before. Now she want to take my kids away? If she take Abdul, I won't have nothing nomore. 75 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 75 Jo Ann bounds into the room with the journal in her hand, swipes an apple from Precious' tray and takes a bite. Precious snatches the journal and opens it quickly. MS. RAIN (V.O.) Dear Precious, It seems the opposite to me. If you keep Abdul you might have nothing. You are learning to read and write, that is everything. Come back to school when you get out of the hospital. You're only seventeen. Your whole life is in front of you. CUT TO: TOOSIE paces Precious' hospital room briskly while holding Abdul and lecturing Precious fiercely. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Dear Miz Rain, Grandmuver come visit and say only a dog will drop a baby and walk off. Say later not even a dog. Precious' grandmother continues her sermon. Precious sighs. (CONTINUED) 60. 75 CONTINUED: 75 MS. RAIN (V.O.) Dear Precious, You are not a dog. You are a wonderful young woman who is trying to make something of her life. I have some questions for you. 1. Where was your grandmother when your father was abusing you? 2. Where is Little Mongo now? 3. What is going to be the best thing for you in this situation? 76 INT. SMALL OFFICE - DAY 76 Ms. Rain sits at her desk reading with her pen ready. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Dear Miz Rain, Lot of questions you ask. No muver, no grandmuver and father rape me years. Little Mongo wif my grandmuver. Best for me to stop breaving sometimes I think. I want to be a good mother too tho. Ms. Rain writes immediately. MS. RAIN (V.O.) Dear Dear Precious, Being a good mother might mean letting your baby be raised by someone who is better able than you to meet the child's needs. 77 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 77 Precious writes while breast-feeding Abdul. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Dear Miz Rain, I is best able to meet my child's need. The page turns. 78 INT. MS. RAIN'S CLASS ROOM - DAY 78 The page falls. The students are all at their desks reading. Ms. Rain writes the following. MS. RAIN (V.O.) Dear Precious, When you are raising a small infant you need help. Who is going to help you? How will you support yourself? How will you keep learning to read and write? 61. 79 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. APT. - DAY 79 We drift towards Mary, at one with the couch, watching television. One hand holds a cigarette while the other mines an enormous bag of potato chips elbow-deep. Her greasy mouth remains occupied with either a cigarette, a potato chip or both at all times. PRECIOUS (V.O.) The welfare help Mama, it help me. MS. RAIN (V.O.) Dear Precious Miss, When you get home from the hospital, look and see how much welfare has helped your mother. 79A INT. HOSPITAL LOUNGE - DAY 79A Nurse John and Precious sit quietly. Nurse John hands her an envelope. Precious opens the envelope to find a beautiful card. It reads, "God Bless you." There is a $20 bill inside. She looks up at him, teary eyed and grateful. 80 INT. HOSPITAL - DAY 80 Precious, now wearing her jacket, packs up her things, takes Abdul and heads out of a spotless room with her child in one hand and two bags in the other. 81 INT. LIVERY CAB - DAY 81 Precious rides holding Abdul. MS. RAIN (V.O.) You could go further than your mother. You could get your G.E.D. and go to college. You could do anything Precious but you have to believe it. Love, Blu Rain. 82 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. - DAY 82 Precious heads into the main entrance holding Abdul and her bags as snowflakes start to fall. 83 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. MAIN ENTRANCE - DAY 83 Ruby plays alone with her broken Barbie doll. Precious passes her without a word. Ruby springs to her feet to trail her. (CONTINUED) 61A. 83 CONTINUED: 83 RUBY Hi Precious. You back? That your new baby? What it's name? Can I hold it? ..Precious? Ruby can only watch as Precious disappears into the stairwell. (CONTINUED) 62. 83 CONTINUED: (2) 83 Signs on the elevators read "OUT OF ORDER". 84 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. STAIRWELL - DAY 84 Precious climbs the stairs growing short of breath holding Abdul, her bags and her coat folded over one arm. Once on the landing, she searches for her keys while trying to balance Abdul and everything else. After turning several locks, she pushes into the apartment... 85 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. - CONTINUOUS 85 ...looks up and ducks. MARY Bitch!!! CRASH!!! A flying vase barely misses Precious and Abdul and then shatters against the wall. Abdul WAILS. PRECIOUS MAMA! ! ! SMASH! A plant comes next. Precious barely dodges that one too and she drops everything but Abdul. PRECIOUS MAMA! ! ! MARY (O.S.) YOU RUIN MY LIFE YOU FAT LITTLE SLUT!!! Mary charges into frame to ram Precious and Abdul like a bull. Precious sidesteps the charge as Mary leaves a huge indentation in the wall knocking over a side table and a potted plant in the process. She grabs her shoulder in pain. Precious backs away around the living room to flee. Mary hurls what's left of the plant at Precious from down on the floor. (CONTINUED) 63. 85 CONTINUED: 85 Precious turns her back to shield Abdul. The pot strikes her in the back. ABDUL SCREAMS louder. Dirt covers Precious. PRECIOUS STOP IT MAMA! YOU GON CRAZY?!!! As Mary gets to her feet ... MARY FIRST YOU STEAL MY HUSBAND, THEN YOU GET ME CUT OFF THE WELFARE YOU STUPID-MOUTH BITCH! PRECIOUS I AIN'T STEAL NUFFIN FROM YOU MAMA! YOUR HUSBAND RAPE ME AND I NOT STUPID! MARY YOU IS! YOU IS TOO! YOU IS AND YOU ALWAYS GON BE NUTHIN BUT STUPID TIL THE DAY YOU DIE! YOU HEAR ME?!! STUPID!!! Tears well in Precious' eyes. PRECIOUS SHUT UP MOMMA! I NOT STUPID! I AM NOT STUPID! DON'T SAY THAT! Mary GROWLS and charges Precious again. Precious turns the TV over between them. Electrical sparks fly as it hits the floor. There is a banging at the door. NEIGHBOR (O.S.) Mary, leave that chile alone. Stop beating that girl Mary. Mary trips and crashes down on top of the overturned television. Precious dashes out of the apartment with only Abdul as Mary struggles to get up. MARY I'M GON KILL YOU PIG! PRECIOUS I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU DIDN'T ALREADY. YOU CRAZY BITCH! 63A. 86 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. HALL OUTSIDE PRECIOUS APT - DAY 86 Precious dashes out of the apartment with tears in her eyes, dirt on her clothes, no coat and Abdul SCREAMING IN HER ARMS. A little OLD WOMAN stands in the hallway shaking her head in disgust. MARY (O.S.) YOU HEAR ME PRECIOUS! GET YOUR BIG, BLACK ASS BACK IN HERE! (CONTINUED) 64. 86 CONTINUED: 86 Precious looks back, trips on the landing and tumbles down a flight of steps cradling and shielding Abdul all the way. THUD! A hard floor abruptly halts Precious' descent. She checks Abdul immediately. He is smiling. A DOOR OPENS followed by GRUNTS and a CRASH. Precious looks up to find the broken television tumbling down the steps towards them. At the last second, Precious manages to roll them both out of the way as the television crashes to the landing shattering some more. 87 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. MAIN ENTRANCE - DAY 87 Precious bursts out of the stairwell with blood streaming down her nose and Abdul in her arms. Ruby dashes to intercept them. RUBY Precious what happened? Ruby places herself between Precious and the door while moving. Precious however, is in a big hurry. RUBY Precious, could I see your baby now? I just wanna see. Precious shows no sign of slowing down. Ruby looks concerned. RUBY Precious, what's wro... Precious knocks Ruby out of her way and to the floor without losing stride. Ruby lands hard and CRIES loudly. 88 EXT. 444 LENOX AVE. - DAY 88 Abdul still in her arms, Precious heads away from the building under dressed. The falling snow has thickened considerably. As she makes her way into the distance, Precious walks into the snowstorm carrying Abdul. 65. 89 EXT. STOREFRONT CHURCH - DAY 89 She hears the sound of a choir. She approaches the Church Basement where the voices are coming from. Precious stares through the window where Choir members are praising The Lord. 90 INT. 444 LENOX AVE. APT. - DAY 90 Mary barrels into Precious' bedroom yelling and screaming as she turns the place upside down. She rips down Precious' handprints along with her Cyndi Lauper poster. She then picks up a brush and hurls it into Precious' mirror, shattering it to pieces. 91 INT. STOREFRONT CHURCH - DAY 91 Precious, with Abdul in her arms, is singing along with the Choir, happier than ever. Tom Cruise joins in clapping, the stray dog that licked Precious in the beginning at his side. 92 EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY 92 Precious sits on the steps of a hospital. Snow still falling. She looks confused. 93 INT. HOSPITAL -DAY 93 Precious steps out of an elevator wet from the snow and still splattered with dirt. She approaches a desk with urgency. PRECIOUS I need to see Nurse John. Where Nurse John at? NURSE He's on break. He'll be back soon. Have a seat. Precious sits on one of a row of chairs by the wall. She tries to settle Abdul as he starts to CRY. The skinny Nurse's legs approach and stop in front of Precious. NURSE Hey...You don't remember me do you? (CONTINUED) 66. 93 CONTINUED: 93 Precious looks up to find A SOUR-LOOKING WOMAN glaring down at her. NURSE I delivered your last one. Precious pauses as if searching for a response to satisfy this woman. Precious looks away. The nurse doesn't leave. NURSE You know I'm sorry to see you back here. (beat) I remembered hoping that you would have learned from your mistakes. PRECIOUS You don't know me bitch. Get lost 'fore I kick your ass. The nurse finally starts away. PRECIOUS Bitch? The nurse turns around. PRECIOUS I ain't make no mistake unless it was being born. DING! The elevator doors open. John steps off between Precious and the nurse. Precious starts to rise and John motions for her to stay seated. He sits beside her. JOHN What happened? PRECIOUS My Mama kick my ass again. I ain' giving Abdul away. And I ain' gonna stop school ...I just...ain't. John looks concerned. Precious speaks with great resolve as if forcing herself to believe her words. (CONTINUED) 67. 93 CONTINUED: (2) 93 PRECIOUS I'm gonna get Little Mongo back too. (sighs) I don't hardly even know what she look like now. Don't matter tho. That don't matter. John looks on heavy-hearted. 94 EXT. HOSPITAL - DUSK 94 Precious is dressed in a hospital gown and draped in a wool blanket. It is still snowing. John holds an umbrella over Precious and a bag in one hand as he escorts her out onto the driveway and into a large gray van. John places the bag in the van, hugs Precious, closes the door and then waves as the van pulls away. Precious turns to watch him recede into the snow through the back window. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Nurse John say lots of people get out of hospital wif no place to go. His eyes look worried tho ...Wonder what next? Scared now. 95 INT. VAN - NIGHT 95 Precious rides in darkness cradling Abdul. She looks up frightened, taking in the others sitting around her. Shes hold Abdul closer. The dark swallows her whole. DISSOLVE TO: 96 INT. ARMORY - NIGHT 96 Bare light bulbs hang from the ceiling. Precious lays on a bed breast feeding Abdul and staring up at the ceiling while covered in a blanket. We sail away to find they are surrounded by scores of rudimentary beds, many of which are filled with other women of varying ages. (CONTINUED) 68. 96 CONTINUED: 96 A BUG LADY lies next to her with unkempt hair and sores on her skin. BUG LADY (murmuring) ...Put your bags in bed with you. Put your bags in the bed with you. Put 'em in. Tuck 'em in bed with you... The skinny woman on the other side sits up and grabs herself feverishly as if there were bugs allover her. AN ENORMOUS AND FEROCIOUS-LOOKING WOMAN IN HER FORTIES steps up, snatches the blanket off of Precious and Abdul and walks off. BUG LADY Give the chile back her blanket! FEROCIOUS WOMAN Fuck you. I ain' giving back shit. The woman walks away. Physically and emotionally spent, Precious sighs and then lifts her bed's top sheet, beneath which is a plastic-covered mattress. She then wraps the sheet around Abdul and herself and hunkers down. Precious rocks Abdul gently as her eyes wander around the cavernous armory. PRECIOUS (humming) AB C D E F G H I J K L M N 0 P, Q RS T U V, W X Y Z. (singing softly) Now I know my ABC's, tell me what you think of me. Precious kisses Abdul on the head. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain say I was moving through the vowel 'n consonant sounds faster than even Rhonda Johnson was. Maybe could've even catched up to Jermaine. Maybe ... FADE OUT. (CONTINUED) 69. 96 CONTINUED: (2) 96 FADE IN 97 OMITTED 97 98 INT. ARMORY - LATER 98 Precious sleeps soundly. Something nudges her slightly. When she finally opens her eyes ... Abdul is gone! So is her bag. Precious springs up in a panic turning in every direction. PRECIOUS Where my baby?! Where my baby at?! The Bug Lady casually points to the exit. The large ferocious woman heads for the exit with Abdul in one arm and Precious' bag in the other. She looks down at Abdul making "baby" faces and sounds. Precious dashes after her but winces in pain grabbing her pelvic area along the way. The Bug Lady follows Precious as a speed walker might. Precious snatches Abdul and promptly knees the ferocious woman hard in the gut. The ferocious woman MOANS as she falls to the ground. Precious continues kicking and stomping her without abandon. The bug girl observes stoically. Abdul WAILS. As she trounces the woman, Precious' eyes fill with a rage we haven't yet seen. Finally, two other women pull Precious away while she still kicks at the woman. The ferocious woman, now bloodied, falls over on her back with her eyes closed and her mouth hanging open. 99 EXT. HARLEM - DAY 99 A bright morning skyline stretches over the Hotel Theresa. 70. A99 INT. ELEVATOR - HOTEL THERESA - DAY A99 Ms. Rain, at work a little earlier than usual this morning, looks great, and ready for another day. B99 EXT. LOBBY EACH ONE TEACH ONE - DAY B99 Ms. Rain enters the lobby. The window of the entry door has been smashed. She opens the door with a look of trepidation. 100 INT. MS. RAIN'S CLASSROOM - DAY 100 Ms. Rain steps into her classroom carrying two bags. She removes her sunglasses. The sight before her stops her in her tracks. She drops her bags immediately. It is Precious, sleeping on the floor with Abdul in her arms. Her hand is cut and bleeding pretty bad. Ms. Rain looks incensed. 101 INT. SMALL OFFICE - LATER - DAY 101 Precious sits rocking Abdul with a bandaged hand. Ms. Rain, still fuming, sits on the other side of the office dialing a phone number from a list on the wall. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I can tell by Miz Rain's face that I ain' gonna be homeless no more. Only I ain' so sure where I'm gon end up tho. MS. RAIN (sternly) Yes I'll hold. (grumbling while on hold) Safety net huh? What damn safety net?! A newborn child! A NEW BORN! In this fucking day and... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Thas the one time I heard Miz Rain curse. MS. RAIN Excuse my language Precious. Precious nods. (CONTINUED) 70A. 101 CONTINUED: 101 PRECIOUS (V.O.) I feels really sorry for her. She just a ABC teacher, not no social worker. But she all I could think of. Rhonda, Jermaine and Consuelo appear in the doorway. RHONDA Hi Precious! JERMAINE What happened? (CONTINUED) 71. 101 CONTINUED: (2) 101 They start for Abdul immediately. Ms. Rain stops them just as quickly. MS. RAIN Good morning girls. Tell the others to start writing when they come in. Whichever one of you is older is in charge until I get back. And Consuelo, I know that is not you. So here is $20.00. Ms. Rain digs into her purse to find the money. She hands it to Consuelo. MS. RAIN Go get something for Precious to wear. Quick! And bring me back my change. The girls nod and leave. 102 INT. DOORWAY BETWEEN MS. RAINS OFFICE AND CLASSROOM - DAY 102 Rhonda and Jermaine head off down the hall. RHONDA How old you is? JERMAINE Same age as you. RHONDA When your birthday? JERMAINE When yours? RHONDA I asked you first. JERMAINE So ... 103 INT. SMALL OFFICE - DAY 103 Ms. Rain still waits on hold until ... MS. RAIN Well why didn't you tell me that before!!! I'm sitting here half the- (CONTINUED) 71A. 103 CONTINUED: 103 Ms. Rain slams the phone down, shakes her head, finds another number on the wall and then dials again while speaking to Precious. MS. RAIN Before this day is up, you will have a place to live Precious. Ms. Rain suspends her frustration with a brief smile as she waits for the other end of the line to pick up. 72. 104 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 104 Jo Ann saunters in. The other girls are writing already. Rhonda is at the head of the class displaying unusually good posture. RHONDA (looking at her watch) Jo Ann, you late. JO ANN You ain't the teacher. RHONDA I am today. Miz Rain busy wif Precious. JO ANN (thrilled) Alright!!! (concerned) How Precious? 105 INT. SMALL OFFICE - DAY 105 Ms. Rain hangs up the phone. She looks tired. PRECIOUS They have ...something. It's an immediate opening and it's in Queens. Precious looks concerned. PRECIOUS Queens? MS. RAIN Yeah. Queens ...What do you think? PRECIOUS (beat) I don't really know Queens. MS. RAIN Me either. You should stay in Harlem...long as we can anyway. (CONTINUED) 73. 105 CONTINUED: 105 Ms. Rain takes an organizer from her bag, looks for another number and picks up the phone. MS. RAIN I have this West Indian friend whose boyfriend is a council member. (with uncertainty) We'll see what they can do... 106 INT. HALLWAY - DAY 106 Precious exits the girls bathroom carrying Abdul. She sports a new sweat suit. She pauses before entering Each One Teach One Reception Area and observes Ms. Rain speaking on the phone for a moment. Suzanne, the school's administrator stands by. MS. RAIN ...C-L-A-I-R-E-E ... WOMAN'S VOICE Hey Precious. Precious jumps and turns around to find Cornrows passing by. PRECIOUS Hi Miss Lisa. CORNROWS (still moving) How you been? PRECIOUS Good. How you been? CORNROWS I don't know... I went to see that movie Barfly last night... That piece of shit was depressin...Cute kid. PRECIOUS Thanks. Ms. Rain still on the phone. MS. RAIN I have the information on my desk. Can you hold one second? Ms rain places the call on hold. (CONTINUED) 73A. 106 CONTINUED: 106 MS. RAIN (to Suzanne) I think I may be onto something. (to Precious) Come on Precious. Precious and Ms. Rain walk back to her classroom. 107 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 107 Ms. Rain and Precious enter the classroom as the girls write studiously. Rhonda supervises in a staid manner. Clearly she is enjoying her new appointment. (CONTINUED) 74. 107 CONTINUED: 107 RITA How do you spell "Aquarius"? JO ANN What you want to spell that for? JERMAINE A-Q-U-A-R-I-U-S. RITA Is that right? JERMAINE Of course it's right. I'm one of `em. CONSUELO I wonder can you spell "boy" then. JERMAINE I wonder can you spell "slut" then. CONSUELO Maybe, but I bet Miss Lisa can. 108 INT. MS. RAINS OFFICE - DAY 108 Ms. Rain picks up the line holding. MS. RAIN Yes Brenda. Thank you. Ms. Rain hangs up the phone, turns to Precious and exhales. MS. RAIN They can take you. Tomorrow...at a place here in Harlem. Precious looks relieved. MS. RAIN You just need somewhere to stay tonight. (beat) You don't snore do you? Precious smiles. 75. 109 INT. MS. RAIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 109 Precious sits at a small kitchen table in a modest but cozy and craftily-decorated apartment. Fresh flowers adorne her table. She breast feeds Abdul and drinks from a tall glass of grape juice. Ms. Rain clears the table of plates and take-out containers. WHITNEY HOUSTON IS PLAYING LOUD. KATHERINE, A SEXY BLACK WOMAN who it seems has just awoken, descends the stairs. She's not in a good mood. KATHERINE Honey, how many times did I tell you about the music? She stops in mid sentence when she sees precious. Her mood changes. KATHERINE (warmly) You must be Precious. Hi. Katherine bends down to admire Abdul. MS. RAIN Precious, this is my wife Katherine. Precious looks confused. She spits her drink out. A lot of which lands on Abdul. She wipes Abdul. PRECIOUS Huh? MS. RAIN I said that this is my wife Katherine. Precious' mouth is agape. PRECIOUS ...Oh... (CONTINUED) 76. 109 CONTINUED: 109 KATHERINE (smiling at Abdul) What's his name? He's adorable. PRECIOUS This Abdul. KATHERINE He looks just like you. PRECIOUS Thanks. (beat) Y'all really married? MS. RAIN Yes Precious. Very much. Precious still looks confused. CUT TO: 110 INT. MS. RAIN'S APARTMENT 110 The ladies lounge around the living room. Ms. Rain and Katherine hold glasses of wine. Precious still looks as if she's trying to keep up. KATHERINE ...Ask yourself. Just ask yourself; if Ronald McDonald were running the show and the price of hamburgers skyrocketed, wouldn't you be suspicious? MS. RAIN I just think you should finish the book. KATHERINE Who's gonna read it? MS. RAIN Nobody if you don't write it. Precious writes everyday. You should try it. KATHERINE What do you write about Precious? PRECIOUS I don't know. Stuff in my life. Abdul. (CONTINUED) 77. 110 CONTINUED: 110 (beat) How come y'all don't like McDonalds? MS. RAIN Katherine was just drawing a comparison so that her point could be more easily understood... PRECIOUS (V.O.) MS. RAIN Together, these homo ladies It's called an analogy. For talk like TV channels I don't example, my uncle Clayton watch. I'm glad Abdul here to used to smoke like a chimney listen in on 'em tho cause I and drink like a fish before know they smart. he got saved. An Etta James tune begins ... CUT TO: Ms. Rain and Katherine, high from the wine, spin each other lazily in a playful dance. Precious sits watching carefully. She lifts and smells the gardenias from the table. Precious starts to pour a bottle of wine into her glass. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Mama say homos is bad peoples ... A hand intercepts the bottle. It is Ms. Rain's. She then pours it into her own glass and takes the bottle with her as she returns to Katherine. PRECIOUS (V.O.) ...But homos not who rape me, homos not who let me sit up in school 16 years and learn nuffin and homos not sell crack to peoples in Harlem. I wonder what Oprah have to say about that? Ms. Rain looks over to Precious. MS. RAIN You okay Precious? Precious nods. PRECIOUS Y' all watch Oprah? Ms. Rain gives her a loving smile. (CONTINUED) 77A. 110 CONTINUED: (2) 110 PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain the one who put the chalk in my hand, make me queen of ABC's. (CONTINUED) 78. 110 CONTINUED: (3) 110 Precious smiles back with gratitude and great affection. 111 EXT. MS. RAIN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 111 Ms. Rain and Katherine continue dancing in the window as Precious observes. The evening cityscape sparkles around them. A111 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE: PRECIOUS' ROOM - DAY/NIGHT A111 MONTAGE: WINTER INTO SPRING AS PRECIOUS AND ABDUL SETTLE INTO THEIR NEW HOME. 112 INT. HOTEL THERESA CLASSROOM - DAY 112 Streamers hang from the walls. Various handwritten versions of "Congratulations Precious", obviously written by the girls, stretch across the blackboard in uneven-sized letters. Precious stands beside Ms. Rain holding a small trophy and a check. The other girls flank them standing very straight. All wear big grins. FLASHPWOOWF! Nurse John, without his uniform, has just taken a picture of everyone. The girls go straight for the cookies and punch waiting atop an orange tablecloth on Ms. Rain's desk. They begin a Soul Train Line and dance around the desk as Nurse John approaches Ms. Rain to converse. PRECIOUS (V.O.) After I settle in halfway house, I work my hardest to memorize letter sounds, write in journal and read smaller and fatter books. Then I find out Mayor's office give me Literacy Award and check for progress. Everybody at the party, Nurse John, Cornrows and the staff stop in too, but they need to get back to they desks before too long. Whole operation can't stop just cause Miss Precious get a trophy. Even Ms. Katherine shows. John discreetly beckons Precious over to the side as she blows into a noisemaker. Both she and John dance in high spirits. (CONTINUED) 78A. 112 CONTINUED: 112 John hands Precious a giftwrapped present. She shakes it and then opens it. It is a leather bound journal with blank pages. Precious flips through it. (CONTINUED) 79. 112 CONTINUED: (2) 112 PRECIOUS Thanks Nurse John. They exchange a familiar, moderately complicated handshake. JOHN You're welcome. What are you gonna do with your award money? PRECIOUS I owe the chicken place for a bucket that I swiped last year. Thas first. After that, get some thangs for Abdul. JOHN You know Blu? PRECIOUS Miz Rain? JOHN Yeah. Precious holds up two intertwined fingers. PRECIOUS Like dis. JOHN Well she has, has she uh...got a man? PRECIOUS ...No. JOHN Well I was hoping you could put in the good word. PRECIOUS The good word...wif Ms. Rain? JOHN Yeah, that's what I'm trying to say. PRECIOUS You ain't her type. John looks confused. 80. 113 INT. HOTEL THERESA CORRIDOR - DAY 113 Precious leads John down the hall by the hand. She stops in front of Cornrows' desk as Cornrows converses on the phone while picking her nails. The previously illegible sign on her desk now reads "EACH ONE TEACH ONE". CORNROWS (on the phone noticing Precious) Hold on girl. Cornrows lowers the phone and waits for Precious to speak. PRECIOUS Miss Lisa this Nurse John. Nurse John this Miss Lisa. Cornrows looks up at John. Precious heads back to the party. Nurse John and Cornrows watch her curiously. PRECIOUS (O.S.) Y'all work it out. Nurse John and Cornrows turn to each other. JOHN Hi ...How are you? Cornrows looks him up and down then hangs up the phone without looking. CORNROWS I get off at 4. 114 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 114 The room is empty except for Ms. Rain standing on a chair taking streamers down. Precious appears in the doorway and studies Ms. Rain a moment as if seeing her for the first time. Ms. Rain steps down from her chair looking tired. Precious enters the room. (CONTINUED) 81. 114 CONTINUED: 114 PRECIOUS Miz Rain? MS. RAIN Precious, I thought you went home. PRECIOUS Not yet. I forgot to say thank you for my party. MS. RAIN You're welcome. It was my pleasure. Precious just watches her. MS. RAIN Was there something else? PRECIOUS I ...No... MS. RAIN (beat) Are you sure? PRECIOUS Well, I was thinking... MS. RAIN Yes? PRECIOUS You talk to us girls in the class when we be working out problems and thangs and stuff, right? Ms. Rain speaks to Precious while picking up around the room. MS. RAIN Mm hm... PRECIOUS Well, who do you talk to? Caught off guard, Ms. Rain looks at Precious curiously. PRECIOUS (quickly) Or you probably don't have no problems so... MS. RAIN Everybody has those Precious. (CONTINUED) 82. 114 CONTINUED: (2) 114 PRECIOUS Ms. Rain, some folks just got it made in the shade. MS. RAIN It only looks that way. Yes, I talk to people all the time for support. PRECIOUS Oh, okay...I didn't have nobody to really speak wif for a long time. I know how that be sometimes so thas why I asked cause almost evrybody need a little help once in a ... Ms. Rain abruptly stops what she's doing. Precious looks alarmed. MS. RAIN What on earth are you talking about? PRECIOUS (confused) Well ...only that -well, evrybody need a little help once in a ... MS. RAIN What?! PRECIOUS (scared) I jus ... MS. RAIN You just what?! PRECIOUS (terrified) I just thought that if you might need some ... MS. RAIN Precious?! PRECIOUS (trembling) ...Yes. MS. RAIN You've helped me already. (CONTINUED) 83. 114 CONTINUED: (3) 114 Precious looks both confused and relieved. Ms. Rain sits while motioning for Precious to do the same. PRECIOUS (sitting) Me? I never... Precious stops as Ms. Rain looks away as if gathering her thoughts. Finally... MS. RAIN Last night I had a conversation with my mother, and that never happens cause our relationship is.... complicated. We don't speak, and when we do, it always ends in a fight about my filthy misguided existence. Most times I feel terrible for days afterwards wondering whether all the hateful things she said are true. Those days I just feel like...like... PRECIOUS Nuffin? MS. RAIN ...Yeah. I didn't feel so bad this time though. (beat) Cause this time I thought about how strong you've had to be and then I decided that I had nothing to be ashamed of and that my mother was wrong about me, my dad and 5 or 6 hundred other things. You ask if you can help me? Baby, you already have. PRECIOUS ...For real? MS. RAIN That's the for real, hope to die if I'm lying truth. Now shouldn't you be out the door? PRECIOUS I jus help you finish up first. I got some time. (CONTINUED) 84. 114 CONTINUED: (4) 114 MS. RAIN (standing) Suit yourself. Ms. Rain motions to the other end of a long folding table. Precious takes hold of it and they carry it across the room together. As we watch from a distance... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Some folks got a light around them that shine for other peoples. I think maybe some of them was in a long tunnel before. And in that tunnel, maybe the only light they had was one that was inside of them and then -even long after they escaped that tunnel, they still be shining for everybody else. Thas Miz Rain to me. 115 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE: PRECIOUS' ROOM - DAY 115 Precious' trophy sits on the windowsill beneath a thin a layer of dust. A stack of books sit on her bureau. Colorful letters and numbers hang on the wall. Beneath them hang postcards featuring Zora Neal Hurston, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. Abdul sleeps in his crib. Precious makes her bed. PRECIOUS (V.O.) In a book I read, a lady escaped to a 1/2 way house. And the lady, she asked the people there just what a 1/2 way house was. They tole her, you is 1/2 way between the life you had and the life you want to have ...Thas nice. That also mean I can't stay here forever and that there is still a ways to go. It be something to get apartment of my own. 85. 116 EXT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE PARK GROUNDS - DAY 116 A larger Abdul steps towards us with Precious behind him wearing a cotton dress that looks vaguely like one Ms. Rain might wear. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Abdul nine months old and walking! Smart too. I been reading to him since the day he was born almost. Barely talkin' and he countin' . R117 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE/POOL - DAY R117 Precious plays with Abdul in the shallow end of the community swimming pool. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Mama, Daddy, I.S. III and 444 Lenox Avenue already seem like a past life or some old bad dream. I wish I could have started out from here but still wif Abdul and poor Mongo. 118 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE: PRECIOUS' ROOM - DAY 118 Precious looks out of her open window with a glass of water in her hand. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK. PRECIOUS Come in... Precious closes her window. The door to her room opens. CHELSEA, A 30-S0METHING SOCIAL WORKER steps in looking slightly uncomfortable. CHELSEA Precious ...you have a visitor. PRECIOUS Thas Rhonda. She always early. Precious rises. (CONTINUED) 86. 118 CONTINUED: 118 PRECIOUS I should've said 4 'cause then that way... CHELSEA It's not Rhonda. Precious stops. 119 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE HALLWAY - DAY 119 Precious descends a staircase to a long corridor clearly deep in thought every step of the way. She stops momentarily to straighten her clothes. When she finally reaches a day room at the other end of the hall, she looks through its window for a moment. Mary sits inside crushing and dwarfing the couch upon which she waits. She looks frail. Her wig is half combed. She's nervous. Her sweaty hands crumple her cigarette package. Precious covers her nose a moment, lowers her hand, readies herself and then steps into the room. 120 INT. DAY ROOM - DAY 120 Once inside the room, and for the first time, Precious' soft face looks like stone. Mary looks up with a brief but quickly fading smile that is pathetic, apologetic and grim. Precious waits. The air is thick without a single word between them. Finally, Mary looks down. MARY Your daddy dead. Precious looks surprised for a moment but still composed. Mary waits for a response. PRECIOUS ...Is that all? (CONTINUED) 87. 120 CONTINUED: 120 MARY No. (beat) Carl ...Carl had that AIDS virus. A previously unseen woman sitting across the room looks up from behind a newspaper. Precious stays stone-faced until she finally GASPS as the aftershock of the revelation hits her squarely. The man across the room collects his hat and coat and leaves. INSERT -GLIMPSES OF CARL REMOVING HIS BELT, CARL THRUSTING ON TOP OF PRECIOUS, PRECIOUS FOLLOWING ABDUL TAKING EARLY STEPS. We return to the dayroom as Precious opens her eyes and lifts them to Mary slowly. PRECIOUS ... You got it? MARY Got what? PRECIOUS The AIDS virus. MARY No. PRECIOUS How you know? MARY We never did, you know... PRECIOUS No, I don't know Mama. MARY We never did what you got to do to get it. PRECIOUS He never been wif you? MARY Yeah...but not like faggots, in the ass and all, so I know. Precious is speechless. It looks as if some of her anger has suddenly been displaced with pity. (CONTINUED) 88. 120 CONTINUED: (2) 120 Precious sighs. PRECIOUS You better go to the doctor Ma. Mary looks up delicately. MARY You welcome back home. PRECIOUS I'm home here. (beat) I better go see 'bout Abdul and do homework. Mary doesn't move as Precious leaves. Mary sits staring at the floor at the far side of the room. 121 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE: PRECIOUS' ROOM - DAY 121 Precious enters, takes Abdul from his crib, holds him closely and sits on her bed. Moments later, a TAPPING on the window draws her attention. Precious rises to find Tom Cruise hurling pebbles up at her window in a leather jacket. A MOTORCYCLE sits a few feet away from him. He beckons her. She stares down at him with solemn eyes. Tom finally mounts his bike and vanishes into thin air while revving its engine. Mary then crosses the frame where he was. Precious turns to Abdul and kisses him on the head. DISSOLVE TO: 122 EXT. STREET - DAY 122 Precious walks over the crest of a hill deep in thought with her hands in her pockets. The constant HUM of the city seems lower than usual as Precious' FOOTSTEPS make the most prominent sound. (CONTINUED) 89. 122 CONTINUED: 122 From this distant view, it appears as if she is almost walking in place. 123 INT. HOTEL THERESA CLASSROOM - DAY 123 Ms. Rain stands before the blackboard with a piece of chalk in her hand pointing to the word "unrelenting", which is written behind her. Consuelo is missing and TWO NEW GIRLS, AISHA, INDIAN AND FROM GUYANA AND BUNNY, VERY THIN WITH BAD TEETH have joined the class. MS. RAIN Rita, what do I mean when the author describes her protagonist's circumstances as "unrelenting"? RITA I don't know Miz Rain. MS. RAIN C'mon Rita, think about the question before you just give up like that... Ms. Rain's voice trails off as we find Precious lost in thought. 124 INT. CLINIC - DAY 124 Precious waits in a small gray office. A FEMALE COUNSELOR WITH SYMPATHETIC EYES carrying a file sits across from her. Her eyes say everything. The counselor places a hand on top of Precious'. 125 INT. HOTEL THERESA CLASSROOM - DAY 125 All the girls write in their journals except for Precious, who again looks preoccupied. Ms. Rain watches her. MS. RAIN Precious? Precious doesn't respond. (CONTINUED) 90. 125 CONTINUED: 125 MS. RAIN Precious? The entire class looks up at Precious. Ms. Rain waits for a response. MS. RAIN Precious, bring your journal to me. Precious waits a moment and then shakes her head without looking up. Ms. Rain goes to her desk and picks up the journal without resistance. The words "Why me?" sit alone on the page with lines crossed through them. Ms. Rain returns the journal to Precious' desk still opened to the same page. MS. RAIN Precious, would you come to my office for a moment? Precious doesn't respond. The class still watches curiously. Ms. Rain, steps back, sits on the edge of her desk and folds her arms. MS. RAIN Preci- PRECIOUS Nurse say I am H.I.V. positive. The air changes sharply. Everything stops. Precious exhales. PRECIOUS I don't have nuffin to write today and I don't hate no one. Not even my muhver. My head is all dark inside so I don't have nuffin to write today...Maybe nuffin never. Rita rises, walks to Precious and embraces her. Tears well in Precious' eyes. (CONTINUED) 91. 125 CONTINUED: (2) 125 Still trying to stay composed, Precious wipes her face. Ms. Rain rises, walks to Precious and rubs her back as she looks around to the other girls who are still stunned. RHONDA Your baby okay? The class waits on pins and needles. Precious doesn't answer at first and just looks down until ... PRECIOUS Yeah. He good...Won't bress feed him no more to be safe. MS. RAIN (to Precious) One time in your journal you told me that you had never really told your story. (softly) write. Precious' eyes well up some more. She wipes her face again. PRECIOUS What for? How?! I feel like I am drowning inside a giant river Miz Rain. Thas what... Precious stops herself abruptly as if being overwhelmed by a sense of futility. MS. RAIN I think telling your story will get you over that river Precious ... Precious erupts hurling her journal sharply across the room. It bounces hard off the blackboard and stops abruptly on the floor facedown. PRECIOUS FUCK YOU! YOU DON'T KNOW NUFFIN WHAT I BEEN THROUGH!!! I NEVER HAD NO BOYFRIEND! MY DADDY SAY HE GONNA MARRY ME BUT HOW HE DO THAT, FUCKING ME ILLEGAL? I NEVER BEEN NO CHILD! NOT EVEN ONE DAY!!! The class looks shocked. Precious' wet eyes are filled with fury. (CONTINUED) 92. 125 CONTINUED: (3) 125 A moment later, Ms. Rain walks calmly across the room, retrieves the journal and places it back on top of Precious' desk. MS. RAIN Open your notebook Precious. PRECIOUS (exasperated) I'm tired Miz Rain! MS. RAIN I know you are but you can't stop now. You gotta fight through this. You still have to live your life and do the best you can with the hand you've been dealt. If not for yourself then for the people who love you. Precious HUFFS cynically. PRECIOUS Nobody love me. Thas a lie. MS. RAIN People do love you Precious. PRECIOUS Please don't lie Miz Rain! Love?! Me?! Love rape me, beat me, call me animal, get me sick and make me feel wurfless. I had enough love. MS. RAIN That wasn't love. There are people in this room who love you. Your child loves you too. Is that clear Precious? Now if Rita decided to just give up? Would you let her? Precious doesn't answer. MS. RAIN Would you?! PRECIOUS (reluctantly) No. MS. RAIN And why not?! (CONTINUED) 93. 125 CONTINUED: (4) 125 Precious doesn't answer. MS. RAIN Because you love her...as much as she loves you. Precious looks to her side and finds Rita smiling reassuringly through her crooked teeth. MS. RAIN Now the rest of the world can judge you, cheat you, beat you, dismiss you and abandon you all it wants but we won't let you give up and that's the only thing that matters. Some people have less than that on their side and still manage to keep going. (beat) It's up to you. Precious thinks a long moment, wipes her face and exhales. She doesn't move for what seems like ages. The whole class watches her until Ms. Rain motions for them to continue working. Finally, Precious takes hold of her pen, opens her journal, sighs deeply and starts to write again. 126 EXT. PARK - DAY 126 Our young ladies and Ms. Rain are seated around a picnic table eating, laughing, talking and writing in their journals all at the same time. Precious has found friends. As we watch Rhonda ... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Some things is hard to say and maybe not your business no way but Rhonda's brother rape her for years and when her muhver fine out, she throw Rhonda out her house. As we watch Rita smiling... (CONTINUED) 94. 126 CONTINUED: 126 PRECIOUS (V.O.) Rita's daddy kill her muhver in front of her eyes and Rita been out on the street selling herself since she 12. As we watch Jermaine laughing... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Jermaine say mens beat her and then rape her for what she is. Muhver throw her out the house when she fine out that she different from other girls. As we watch Ms. Rain. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain still a sort of mystery, but a nice one like the sun. As we watch the group from a distance... PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Rain right too. These girls is my family now. They visit me at hospital when I had Abdul and even take up a collection when Mama kick me out. They got love in they eyes and in they hearts for me, same as I got for them. 127 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY 127 Ms. Weiss speaks from behind her desk as Precious sits on the couch beside her backpack looking bored. MS. WEISS ...You know you can use your notebook between sessions Claireece. PRECIOUS I do. MS. WEISS I mean you can use it specifically for trying to recover certain early memories. Precious nods mechanically. (CONTINUED) 95. 127 CONTINUED: 127 PRECIOUS (V.O.) Tired of this lady asking me questions. Miz Rain say talk anyway but Miz Weiss just a spy for the State who write reports on me undercover. Reports go in file. File say what I could get, where I could go and if I could get cut off and kicked out of Advancement House. MS. WEISS (beat) What are you thinking? PRECIOUS Nothing. MS. WEISS Oh I doubt that Claireece. It seems like you're always thinking about something. PRECIOUS I don't know. It's sort of hot in here I guess. MS. WEISS It is, isn't it? As a matter of fact, I'm going to get myself something to drink. Would you like something to drink Claireece? PRECIOUS A soda sounds nice ...please. MS. WEISS What kind? PRECIOUS I don't care. MS. WEISS Oh c'mon, you must. PRECIOUS Orange. MS. WEISS Okee Dokee. Ms. Weiss collects some change, grins at Precious and then steps out of the room leaving her purse open on the desk. (CONTINUED) 96. 127 CONTINUED: (2) 127 MS. WEISS Back in a jiffy. The moment the door closes, Precious dashes across the room for the file cabinet behind Ms. Weiss' desk. Precious searches the drawers in the cabinet and rifles through the files. 128 EXT. HALLWAY - DAY 128 Ms. Weiss inserts several pieces of change into a vending machine and presses a button. A can of Soda CLUNKS down through the bowels of the machine. 129 OFFICE 129 Pouring through the "J" files, Precious stops at Jones and then first goes for "P". She sees nothing, sucks her teeth, thinks a moment and then looks for "C". 130 HALLWAY 130 Ms. Weiss saunters back towards the office whistling softly with 2 sodas in her hand. 131 OFFICE 131 Precious finally finds the file with her name on it and looks up as FOOTSTEPS sound outside the door. Ms. Weiss steps in. Precious is now seated on the couch again with a corner of her file protruding from her bookbag. Ms. Weiss hands Precious her soda. PRECIOUS Thank you. MS. WEISS You know your mother's been calling here wanting to come visit. PRECIOUS Really? MS. WEISS Would you like her to come to a counseling session with you? (CONTINUED) 97. 131 CONTINUED: 131 PRECIOUS I don't know. I never really thought about it before. MS. WEISS Well that's just one more thing to consider before I see you next week. Ms. Weiss smiles at Precious. Precious smiles back. 132 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE: PRECIOUS' ROOM - DAY 132 Jermaine rocks Abdul's crib with one hand while looking at the file with Precious as both girls sit cross-legged on Precious' bed. Precious reads carefully. PRECIOUS 'I have just finished a session with Claireece Precious Jones, an eighteen-year-old African American female. According to her teachers at Each One Teach One where she attends school she is a pen-, phen- JERMAINE ... 'phenomenal' PRECIOUS ...success. Having made strides so tre-men-tremendous in the past year, she was given the mayor's award for outstanding achievement. She seems actively en...engaged in all aspects of the learning process. However, her TABE test scores are disappointingly low... ' Not to Miz Rain! Not to Miz Rain! (continuing) 'She scored 2.8 On her last test.' So what! Miz Rain- JERMAINE Get a grip and gon' read the report and don't get all emotional about what this silly hoe got to say. Anyway, if your shit wasn't dope you wouldn't be standing up here readin' -what, what's her name (looks up on the page) (CONTINUED) 98. 132 CONTINUED: 132 Ms. Weiss. What Ms. Weiss got to say. Precious continues. PRECIOUS 'She will need at least an 8.0 Before she can enter G.E.D. Class and begin work toward her high school e-q...equivalency.' Surprised and impressed, Jermaine double takes on Precious. JERMAINE ...Nice. PRECIOUS Thanks. (beat) 'Abdul is the client's second-born child. He's from all outwhere... JERMAINE 'outward'... PRECIOUS 'Appearances, a healthy and welladjusted toddler. Precious attends to his needs a-s-s-i-d-u-o-s-l-y... Precious and Jermaine look at each other. Both are at a loss... PRECIOUS & JERMAINE Whatever. PRECIOUS ... 'and with great affection and ee... ' JERMAINE 'eagerly' PRECIOUS ... 'seeks any and all information on child rearing. The time and resources it would require for this young woman to get a G.E.D. or into college would be considerable'... Precious stops reading abruptly and hands the file to Jermaine. Jermaine looks at Precious oddly. (CONTINUED) 99. 132 CONTINUED: (2) 132 PRECIOUS Finish reading this ...I know what's coming. Jermaine pauses and then continues reading the file as Precious rises and paces the room. JERMAINE 'Although she is in school now, it is not a job readiness program. Nonetheless, Claireece is capable of going to work. In January, her son will be two years old. In keeping with the new initiative on welfare reform, I feel Claireece would benefit from any of the various workfare programs in existence. Despite her obvious intellectual limitations she is quite capable of working as a home attendant.' PRECIOUS I don't want to be no motherfucking home attendant! I wanna be... JERMAINE Hush! 'My rapp-o-r-t with Precious is minimal. Although I am not sure with whom, she evidently has access to counseling services provided by Each One Teach One. She has a history of sexual abuse and is H.I.V. positive.' PRECIOUS She say she not put that in my file! Bitch! JERMAINE That's the bitch's job, to get the mofuckin' goods on you! (continuing) 'The client seems to view the social services, AFDC, as taking care of her forever.' Jermaine sets the file down and looks up at Precious. PRECIOUS (beat) That file do show one thing -that (CONTINUED) 100. 132 CONTINUED: (3) 132 this hoe don't know nuffin wurf knowing about Claireece Precious Jones. PRECIOUS I'm getting my G.E.D., a job, and a place for me and Abdul, then I go to college. I don't want to 'home attend' nobody! JERMAINE You better put this shit back before you get in trouble. We talk about it with Ms. Rain in the morning. 133 INT. ADVANCEMENT HOUSE HALLWAY - DAY 133 Precious hurries into a room carrying Abdul. The sign on the door says "DAYCARE". Precious dashes out of the room alone. WOMAN'S (0.S.) And don't be coming back late for his bad ass neither. 134 EXT STREET - DAY 134 Precious marches to school with her bookbag and red scarf. She clearly has a lot on her mind. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Miz Weiss just part of the gang but definitely not cool. And social worker look at me like I am ugly freak who did something to make my own life like it is. I guess I am trying to figure out just what has happened to me while Miz Weiss just hell bent on making me go wipe old people's asses. Precious crosses the street. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Got to sort dis out quick tho 'fore Abdul's next birthday -coming up fast. 135 INT. HOTEL THERESA CLASSROOM - DAY 135 The whole class writes until Ms. Rain looks at her watch and... (CONTINUED) 101. 135 CONTINUED: 135 MS. RAIN Time is up. Does anyone want to share? The only hand up belongs to Precious'. MS. RAIN Okay Precious. PRECIOUS I don't really want to read all I wrote, I jus' wanna kinda say what it is I'm writing about and how it came about. AISHA What happened? PRECIOUS Well, to make a long story short, the counselor at Advancement House quizzing me about Mama and Daddy etc., etc. But it's really about workfare. She want to send me out as home attendant. RHONDA How you know? PRECIOUS Cause I stole my file from Advancement House and read it. The class GASPS. JO ANN Next time get mine's too. PRECIOUS All this 'What you wanna be?' And 'You can talk to me.' They ain' no motherfucking therapists on our side, they just flunkies for the 'fare. I wanna work, but not for no motherfucking welfare check in Central Park -displacing brothers and sisters who really got jobs cleaning up 'cause I'm there working for free. Jermaine speaks while slouched in her chair with her feet crossed and arms folded. (CONTINUED) 102. 135 CONTINUED: (2) 135 JERMAINE And what kinda shit is it for someone like Precious to have quit school before she get her G.E.D. to work at some live-in job for some old-ass crackers. She'll never make a rise she get stuck in some shit like that! MS. RAIN Sit up straight Jermaine and watch your language. Both of you. Please. Jermaine reluctantly sits up. MS. RAIN Now I see your points, but is stealing... PRECIOUS Miz Rain, If I didn't steal that file I wouldn't know what I was facing! MS. RAIN You read the whole thing by yourself? PRECIOUS Yeah...basically. JO ANN Rhonda home attend. Say old bitch would ring a bell when she want Rhonda in the night! JERMAINE Rhonda used to have to go all the way out to Brighton Beach where she work for them people. PRECIOUS The people had her there all day and night - 'on call' they call it. But you only get pay for 8 hours so that's 8 X $6.37 (referring to her notebook) = $50.96 a day, but then you is not really getting that much cause you is working more than eight hours a day. You is working 24 hours a day and 50.96 divided by 24 is... (CONTINUED) 103. 135 CONTINUED: (3) 135 (referring to her notebook) $2.12 by my count. JO ANN Rhonda say old bitch would ring a bell - a actual bell -when she want Rhonda in the night! PRECIOUS Home attendants usually work six days a week. I would only see Abdul on Sundays? When would I go to school? (beat) Am I gonna hafta go be home attendant like Rhonda was? MS. RAIN No! So stop worrying about it. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it. Trust me -no, trust yourself. My concern now is that if this Ms. Weiss is someone you're working with and can't trust, she's out! We gotta find somebody else. PRECIOUS (beat) Well, I just write in my notebook till I get wif some kinda therapist I can trust. Actually that always help me more than talking to her. Plus, I'm going to start going to meetings wif Rita for insect survivors. BUNNY Incest. PRECIOUS That's what I mean. BUNNY Well it ain't what you been saying. PRECIOUS What's the big deal? BUNNY One's where your family molest you, the other is like a roach or bugs. (CONTINUED) 104. 135 CONTINUED: (4) 135 MS. RAIN Precious, have you ever had your hearing tested? PRECIOUS No. I never really had nothing tested...nothing like that. Glasses is what I really want so my eyes don't hurt when I be reading at night. The sound of a RUMBLING BUS ENGINE accelerating leads us to... 136 INT. CITY BUS - DAY 136 Rita looks out the window of a moving 102 bus and then steps across the aisle and sits beside Precious who stares out the window pensively. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Rita and me on our way. I look at subway map sometimes and wonder where I be if I go to the end of the line. Jermaine say there be a white boy wif a baseball bat when you get off. Rita say it's not true, or if it be true, it's only part true. The bus comes to a stop and the girls dash out the back door. 137 EXT. UPPER WEST SIDE SUBWAY EXIT - DAY 137 Precious and Rita climb up out of the subway. 138 EXT. STREET - DAY 138 Precious and Rita walk with Precious looking around as Rita hums quietly. 139 INT. MEETING ROOM - DAY 139 In a simple meeting room, women of all different ages, colors and strata sit in a large circle. IRENE, A GORGEOUS SLENDER BLOND WITH LUSTROUS HAIR AND SPARKLING EYES stands. (CONTINUED) 105. 139 CONTINUED: 139 IRENE Hello and welcome to our Tuesday night beginner's meeting...My name is Irene. I am an incest survivor... Precious looks utterly amazed. Her jaw drops. From here, the women's voices are so faint that they are barely audible as we hear Precious' thoughts. PRECIOUS (V.O.) IRENE This girl look like a movie It started when I was about 4 star and she in here too?! or 5 years old with him All kinda women in here. fondling me. By the time I Princess girls, big girls, was 12, he was having old women, young women, white intercourse with me 3 or 4 women, lotta white women. Times a week... A montage of other women standing and speaking follows. As the women talk, Precious' face fills with the wonder of seeing the world through the window of a spacecraft headed for re-entry. CANDACE, SIXTIES, WHITE speaks next. PRECIOUS (V.O.) CANDACE What am I hearing?! What in ....I didn't remember what my h the world?! One hour and a father did to me for so many alf women talk. How can this years until after he died... happen to so many people? CAITLIN, 20's, WHITE speaks. PRECIOUS (V.O.) CAITLIN And these is just the ones ...I am a proud lesbian. But that come out to the meeting. it's the only thing I'm proud What about the rest? Do I of. I was confined to a pass them in the street and mental institution for 14 do not know? years.... Finally, Precious stands. She looks around as if seeing from the top of a mountain. Finally she clears her throat and then ... PRECIOUS I was raped by my father and beat by my mother ever since I could remember anything at all. Raped and beat by both. (CONTINUED) 106. 139 CONTINUED: (2) 139 The worst part about it...the part even worse than them doin' it...was how shamed I felt during the times when my father was raping me and it felt ...good. Anyway, I see a girl and always think I know how easy or bad she have it just by lookin'. Now I wonder if everybody go through sumthin' -sumthin' that leave a shadow in they life. (exhales) Never said alla that before... Precious looks around the room to find herself surrounded by understanding eyes. PRECIOUS Anyway, thas all I'd like to say for today. Thank y'all for letting me share... Irene nods and Precious sits. Rita squeezes her hand. Another woman stands up to recount her story. Precious looks aglow. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Everything is floating around me now. Like geeses from the lake. I see flying. Feel flying. Am flying. Far up...Thank you Rita for getting me here on time. 140 INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE MEETING ROOM - A LITTLE LATER 140 The group slowly emerges. A table with a nice arrangement of cookies stands next to a coffee maker and soda machine. Irene chats with Candace over a cup of coffee. Precious and Rita talk with TWO OTHER YOUNG WOMEN, MIRIAM, BLACK 20's LONG PRETTY DREADLOCKS and LISA, WHITE 20's. PRECIOUS ...How you get your hair like that? MIRIAM Oh, you like it? I do yours one day if you want. That's what I do - fix people's hair and makeup. Miriam hands Precious a card. Precious reads the card carefully and puts it away with care. PRECIOUS Thank you Miriam. (CONTINUED) 107. 140 CONTINUED: 140 RITA (to Precious) Do you want another hot chocolate? Precious smiles and shakes her head no. Rita gets up. Precious watches her go as Miriam and Lisa chat. PRECIOUS (V.O.) Rita ask me do I want another hot chocolate. I do but I don't want to be greedy, even if her boyfriend do give her money. Precious looks around at all of the other girls. PRECIOUS (V.O.) I'm alive inside. A bird is my heart. Mama and Daddy didn't win. I'm winning. I'm drinking hot chocolate on the Upper West Side with girls - all kind who love me. How does a stranger meet me and love me? Rita returns with two cups of hot chocolate. She gives one to Precious. Precious thanks Rita with her eyes. FADE OUT FADE IN R141 EXT. MRS. WEISS'S WAITING AREA - DAY R141 Precious, wearing her new scarf and glasses, sits in the waiting room holding a book in her hands. Abdul plays among the little children in the kids area behind her. Crumpled wrapping paper lays beside her. The book's first page reads: CONGRATULATIONS PRECIOUS! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU YET AGAIN. LOVE, MS. RAIN Sheila and Ruby walk in and sit down beside Precious. Ruby has a black eye. They sit in silence for a few moments, waiting for their turn. SECRETARY (O.S.) Sheila Hewitt, Ms. Rubenstein is ready for you. (CONTINUED) 107A. R141 CONTINUED: R141 SHEILA (To Ruby) Go on back there! RUBY But there are no kids there I can play with. SHEILA Do you want me to knock your other eye out! Just sit there and shut up then! I'm going to talk to this lady before my shit gets cut off! Sheila heads up the stairs toward the offices. Precious closes her book. Its cover reads: Chrystal Stair: Selected Works by Langston Hughes. SECRETARY (O.S.) Clareece Precious Jones! Mrs. Weiss is ready for you. Precious stands up and looks down at Ruby, sulking in her chair. She leans down, gives her a big hug and tenderly fixes Ruby's hair. Precious walks off toward the stairs, but stops when she passes a mirror hanging on the wall. Within the reflection, she sees her true self for the first time. (CONTINUED) 108. R141 CONTINUED: (2) R141 PRECIOUS (V.O.) One day Miz Rain ask us to write about our ideal self...I wrote that I would be light skinned and small wif wavy swing-job hair. She heads up the stairs toward the offices. PRECIOUS (V.O.) (beat) Miz Rain read all that and then say I am beautiful like I am. I never believe her before but somehow, today, this moment -can't say why, I do. Just now...The inside I thought was so beautiful is a black girl too. (CONTINUED) 109. R141 CONTINUED: (3) R141 Precious turns around to find that Ruby has grabbed her arm. She then reaches up and hugs Precious tightly. Through the embrace, Precious finds herself facing the many mirrors on display by the old man on the folding chair. In her reflections, she sees the skinny white girl who she has frequently imagined herself as gradually transform into the real Precious one by one. 142 EXT. STREET - DAY 142 We tilt down upon a stately pre-war building bathed in stark wintry light. MS. WEISS (O.S.) Perhaps we should begin by talking a little bit about the abuse. 143 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY 143 Mary looks worse than ever. Her hair and clothing are disastrous. She rocks somewhat anxiously on the edge of her seat like a desperate salesman looking to close a deal. MARY 'Buse? MS. WEISS Yes Ms. Johnston. Abuse. MARY There was no drugs in ma house! No drugs! 'Cause Precious know damn well I whoop her ass bright blue if she bring some drugs in ma... MS. WEISS I'm referring to inappropriate acts of a physical and sexual nature involving Precious. MARY Why'nt you say dat? Dat?! Okay. When it first start? MS. WEISS Yes. According to Precious' files she has had two children by your boyfriend, the late Carl Kenwood Jones, who is also her father? (CONTINUED) 110. 143 CONTINUED: 143 You've been calling here saying you want to be reunited with your daughter and grandson and that you want them to come home. Well I think you'd better explain just what happened in that home. Precious waits nervously. MARY ...Well, I, Precious b'long at home cause I'm a good mother. She had everything. I done tole her that. Pink 'n white baby carriage, little pink bootie socks, dresses; everything I put on her pink. Precious, she so smiling and healthy. A day don't go by I don't throw her wheeling in the air. I take her up and down 125th Street. Me 'n Carl loved Precious. I dreamed of the day we was gonna you know, git married, git house wif grass, color TV's in all the rooms. Precious, She born about the same time as Miz West son that got kilt. You remember him don't you Precious? Precious looks at a loss. MARY He born summertime 'bout same time as you. PRECIOUS I was born in November...far as I know. MARY Yeah yeah thas right. My little Scorpio chile! Scorpio's crafty. I ain' sayin' they lie, jus' you cain't always trust 'em. Precious looks embarrassed beyond embarrassment. MS. WEISS Ms. Johnston, when did the abuse happen, how often, where? And, when were you first aware of what was going on? (CONTINUED) 111. 143 CONTINUED: (2) 143 MARY When? I don't know when it start. When I remember it? She still little. Yeah, around three maybe. I give her a bottle. I still got milk in my bresses but not from her but from Carl sucking. I give him tittie, Precious bottle. Hygiene, you know? MS. WEISS (floored) Excuse me? MARY Huh? MS. WEISS You mentioned something about hygiene in connection with... Ms. Weiss can't go on. MARY I bottle her, tittie him. Bottle more better for kidz. Sanitary. But I never git dried up 'cause Carl always on me. It's like that you know. Chile, man -a woman got bofe. What you gonna do? So we in bed. I put her one side of me on pillow, Carl on other side of me. Ms. Weiss looks as if she's stopped breathing. I think thas the day IT start. So he on me. Then he reach over to Precious! I say Carl what you doing! He say shut your big ass up! This good for her. I say stop Carl stop! I want him on me! I never wanted him to hurt her. I didn't want him doing anything to her. I wanted my man for myself -to sex me up, not my chile. Me God damn it! So you cain't blame all that shit happen to Precious on me. I love Carl, I loved him. He her daddy but he was my man! Mary can't help but to shoot a look of anger at Precious while Ms. Weiss pauses to regain her composure... LONG DISSOLVE TO: 112. 144 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY 144 Precious nods reluctantly. MARY Lady from Each One Preach One say she got poems too. In fact... PRECIOUS That's enough Mama. That's ... enough. (beat) You know, I didn't realize what you was until this day -even after all those thangs you did. Maybe I didn't know no better or maybe I just didn't want to but I finally see you crystal clear for the first time. (beat) I forgive you too. Mary smiles warmly and nods confidently to Ms. Weiss. PRECIOUS ...but I'll never see you again. Not even if you dead. Mary's expression drops. Precious turns to Ms. Weiss as Mary starts to spring up from her seat. PRECIOUS (without looking at her) Stay down Mama. Mary sits obediently. Precious turns to Ms. Weiss. PRECIOUS I forgive you too. I can tell right now that you ain't qualified for dis kind of mess. Precious thinks a moment and grins a grin that seems much older. MS. WEISS ...Precious? I was thinking we might... PRECIOUS I took the TABE test again. This time it's 7.8. Last time it was 2.8. (CONTINUED) 113. 144 CONTINUED: 144 According to the test, I'm reading around 7th or 8th grade level now. High school level next. College after that. MS. WEISS ...Why congratulations Precious. That's ... Precious stands abruptly, startling both women. She takes a step towards her mother. Mary winces. Ms. Weiss looks concerned. MS. WEISS Precious, perhaps it's best if you remain seat... Precious leans and kisses Mary tenderly on the cheek, turns and gently touches Ms. Weiss' shoulder. Precious takes a good look at them both, smiles and leaves the room. MS. WEISS (O.S.) Precious?! 145 INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS 145 Ms. Weiss calls after her. Precious keeps walking. MS. WEISS (O.S.) Precious! Precious doesn't stop. 146 INT. CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 146 The women run to the window. They see Precious burst out onto the street. 147 EXT. STREET - CONTINUOUS 147 Precious walks down the crowded street carrying Mongo and Andre. She is happy and filled with hope. Tom Cruise is there chatting up another young girl... she pays him no mind. DISSOLVE TO: 148 DEDICATION 148 ...for precious girls everywhere.