Gabourey Sidibe says enough "perfect, pretty" films

Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:55pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - Oscar-nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe, who stars in a new street drama tackling violence, mental illness, and drugs, told the Berlin film festival on Saturday that Hollywood should better reflect the real world.

"Yelling to the Sky" is actress-turned-director Victoria Mahoney's debut feature. She also wrote and produced it.

The movie, which also features musician Lenny Kravitz's daughter Zoe in the lead role of 17-year-old Sweetness O'Hara, is in the main competition line-up in Berlin.

"Yelling to the Sky" has drawn comparisons to "Precious", the 2009 picture for which Sidibe was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Both are no-frills treatments of a young woman's struggle to emerge from domestic abuse and poverty.

The muted reaction among journalists and critics at a press screening in Berlin, however, suggested it may not enjoy the same critical acclaim.

"I think the similarity between this film and 'Precious' is that it's not a perfect, pretty story, which is what we get most of the time out of Hollywood," Sidibe told reporters.

"It's gritty and honest and it's not trying to make you like it. It's really a slice of life and it's this one girl's life and her struggle and her fight to really become a person and to define who she is.

"I think there needs to be more stories like that because my life has never looked like anything that Hollywood has produced."   Continued...