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Tough Movie Mothers, From Well-Meaning to Just Mean

By Nikhil Hutheesing, Suzanne Woolley and Ben Steverman - 2012-05-08T21:17:08Z

Photograph by Lions Gate/Everett Collection

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Just Mean: 'Precious'

Mo'Nique plays Mary, the abusive mother of Claireece "Precious" Jones, the title character in the 2009 movie "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." Mary's evil style of motherhood leaves her 16-year-old daughter illiterate, obese and pregnant twice -- by her own father. It's a performance so raw and frightening that Mo'Nique won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.