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ALL SCRIPTS






                             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.


Precious



Writers :   Geoffrey Fletcher
Genres :   Drama


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